Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Royalty Theatre - The Ghost Train - Review

The Ghost Train
Royalty Theatre

The Royalty Theatre's new season kicks off this week with a production of Arnold Ridley's The Ghost Train. Though it was originally performed back in 1925 it is a play that has withstood the test of time. Set in the 1920s "somewhere in Cornwall". It is a tale of ghosts and espionage - a true Boys Own adventure. A group of travellers are forced to spend the night in a remote station on a wild winter's evening. A hapless passenger on their train loses his hat and pulls the emergency cord, causing them to miss their connection to Truro. But many things are not quite what they seem - from the hapless passenger to the haunted station with its lugubrious station master and strange foreign locals. What is the truth behind the ghostly night time express and the young lady with psychic vision? Is the hapless passenger really as hapless as he seems? There is more to this spooky tale than meets the eye and eventually all will be revealed - but to find out the truth you must see it yourself: there are no spoilers here.

The team have made a fair start to the season - a simple set, a good play, and a decent production. Good performances by Mik Richardson, Andrew Barella and James Errington, though Lorna Breeze almost steals the show with her portrayal of Miss Bourne - I enjoyed her tipsy flirting with Charles! Great sound and lighting effects for the train and the ghostly manifestations. It is a little rough around the edges - one or two performers trying just a little too hard and there are some shocking accents which I will forgive, if only because this is a comedy thriller and has quite an element of farce running through it (intentional, I hope). It's an entertaining production with enough sudden bangs to keep the audience on edge and a fair start to wnat looks like a promising season.
Stationmaster - Matt McNamee
Richard Winthrop - Andy Barella
Elsie Winthrop - Nikki Briggs
Charles Murdock - James Errington
Peggy Murdock - Zoe Tempest
Miss Bourne - Lorna Breeze
Teddie Deakin - Mik Richardson
Julia Price - Chloe Mendez
Herbert Price - David Armstrong
John Sterling - Rob Lawson
Policeman - Kevin Smith
Director - Billy Towers

The Ghost Train plays until Sat 24th September. Tickets cost £8/£6.50 and are available online in advance or on the door from 6.45pm . Curtain up is at 7.30pm

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