Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Strangers On A Train

Strangers On A Train
Gielgud Theatre
Craig Warner's play, based on the novel by Patricia Highsmith, makes for a compulsive evening's entertainment.
Tickets, please!
The basic premise is well known: two strangers - Guy and Bruno - brought together by chance during a train journey, discuss trading potential murders of people they want removing from their respective lives. The great advantage to the plan is the lack of any evidence pointing to the most obvious suspects and the addition of a perfect alibi in each case.

It turns out that the somewhat unhinged Bruno was rather more serious about the plan than was Guy, leading to tragic consequences. The ensuing lies, deception and psychological pressure form the backbone of the play, as Guy's highly successful life and career both start to crumble as Bruno's influence takes hold. We already know whodunnit but the question is - will Guy follow suit?

The denouement is ambitious and effective, with perhaps, an element of ambiguity.

The cast is a strong one. Unfortunately, headliner Laurence Fox was indisposed and couldn't play as Guy, but understudy Scott Sparrow did a fine job.
The Gielgud Theatre
The Gielgud Theatre is the ideal venue for Strangers on a Train. The revolving centre of the stage enables several sets to be ready at any given time, with train interiors, houses, streets and even a fairground carousel all swinging into view as demanded by the script. I have seen the stage in action before, most notably for The Ladykillers (2011 - starring new Doctor Who Peter Capaldi) and, to a lesser extent, Private Lives (2013).

For more information, go full steam ahead to the official website.

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