Reviewed by R.J.-D. for The Croydon Advertiser
Theatre Workshop Coulsdon performed Arnold Ridley’2 vintage comedy thriller “The Ghost Train” last week.
They not only had the sense to stick to the original period but avoided the temptation to present the younger characters as “gay” flappers.
We were, in the main, given a collection of believable people.
Teddy Deakin (played with panache by Cliff Palmer) is, of course, an exception. Deliberately fatuous, to mask his real role in the plot, he is responsible for providing the play with much of its humour.
It was, however, a little difficult to take seriously the two detectives who appeared for the Act II denoument, and the final lines spoken by villainess Julia Price (nicely captured by Jane Walton), whose American gangsterisms were inclined to solicit more guffaws than awes.
Liz Sutton, all prunes and prisms as the prim Miss Bourne, handled her drunk scene well.
Tim Young and Lesley Argles created two strong and definite characterisations as the Winthrops, although their ultimate reconciliation was a little abrupt.
Nigel Sorensen and quietly spoken Terry Cockell were effective newly-weds and Chris Argles contributed a good West country accent as the station-master.
Chris Woolgar and Marc Weston were not, perhaps, ideally cast as Dr Sterling and Price, but managed to create an air of menace.
Maureen Hoy’s production, enhanced by Chris garrett’s atmospheric set, was sometimes robbed of thrills by a certain slackness with stage effects.
One criticism must be made of the programmes; they gave no synopsis of scenes and did not help character identification, listing only Christian names when the author, if he mentioned names at all, mainly used surnames.
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