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Samantha Womack stars in The Girl on the Train at The Orchard Theatre in Dartford

By Amy Nickalls

Without any knowledge of The Girl on The Train except for the eerie posters of Emily Blunt starring out a window, I didn’t know what to expect.

The story is based on the book written by Paula Hawkins about a woman who sees a couple in their home on her train journey every day.

And when the woman goes missing, she seems to have a connection to her - despite having never met her.

Oliver Farnworth and Samantha Womack (9154030)
Oliver Farnworth and Samantha Womack (9154030)

Samantha Womack played a good drunk. She sounded uninterested in the first half. She seemed to shout her lines and was hard to sympathise with.

But as the shock of the end of act one hit and she returned sober with a new determination and focus, she beautifully acted the emotional scenes as the truth began to unravel.

The twists, multiple suspects and the complex family issues we expect from a good crime book were played out in front of the audience.

Unlike in the film, so I’m told, there’s the occasional comedic moment that tickles the audience. The unassuming star was DI Gaskill. He’s the only character that can be trusted and his wit was a nice break from the gloom of the story.

Samantha Womack stars in the Girl on the Train (9151138)
Samantha Womack stars in the Girl on the Train (9151138)

What was most impressive was the use of the set.

What stage managers and directors don’t have in big movie budgets and clever camera angles, they made up for in creativity.

The train across the middle of the stage with a window in to Megan’s home, the balcony as a place for retelling tales and the lighting and music added to the atmosphere.
And, watch out for that train!

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