The Girl on the Train Review

The Girl on the Train – Review

The opening night of The Girl on the Train at Sheffield’s Lyceum, and it is certainly a stage show that carries a heap of expectation and recognition with it. This is a play which I expected to be slightly predictable for someone that is already familiar with the plot, but I was certainly still filled with tension and excitement throughout. Having become a world-wide triumph, the genuine publishing phenomenon was then adapted as a hugely successful film starring Emily Blunt back in 2016. Having experienced both the book and the film, we are now in the midst of its third adaptation, and this is an adaptation that didn’t disappoint.

The genre of the ‘whodunit’, which was closely adhered to by Paula Hawkins in the original novel, is one which guarantees suspense and for the audience to be perched on the edge of their seat for its entirety. The stage play stayed loyal to this and illustrated the thriller brilliantly.

From the very beginning, the audience is drawn into the complex and emotional life of the protagonist Rachel Watson, post-divorce. The narrative is altogether centred on three different women, as they struggle with relationship troubles and binge-drinking. As Rachel becomes directly involved in a missing person investigation, we begin to closely examine each character in pursuit of solving the investigation.

The scenery on stage massively compliments the suspenseful narrative, as each twist and turn of the plot is portrayed with ease and impact, from the therapist’s office to the kitchen of the ex-husband. The recurring image of the train is brought to life on the stage, as the centre point for much of the plot’s action it was important to get this right. Through the strip-lights and the resounding music, the audience is able to feel how detrimental this commute is on the protagonist, Rachel.

Perhaps even more important than the murder mystery journey that we are invited to take, The Girl on the Train resonates massively with modern times. The themes that are so effectively explored make it a novel of its time; themes such as isolation in the modern world and the overwhelming power of image consciousness are relevant to everybody in the present day. On the back of the unprecedented explosion of social media, and at a time where we are all living under the controls of consumer culture, exploring these issues has never been so important.

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