Review of ‘The Ghost Train’ at The Brookside Theatre

The Ghost Train follows six railway passengers who become stranded at a rural railway station overnight. With nowhere else to go, the passengers have to stay at the station but the station master says they cannot stay as he is locking up for the night. The passengers insist on staying, as it is raining heavily and the nearest village is four miles away. But is all as it seems at the station and what of the mysterious Ghost Train?

The Ghost Train was written by the English actor and playwright Arnold Ridley, most famous for playing Private Godfrey in Dad’s Army. The show has a haunted feeling, and you should certainly expect a few frights through the night, but it never takes itself too seriously.

All of the cast did a great job of portraying these strangers stranded in a room together but my favourite character has to be stereotypical station master Saul Hodkins (Played by Jai Sepple), with a grouchy voice, white beard and out of date uniform there were always laughs when he was on stage and Jai even managed to get a giggle from the audience when his lantern was accidently blown out.

The show was kept light by Bob Pamplin, who did a great job of playing the ‘There’s always one’ character of Teddie Deakin, a person who often annoyed the audience as much as the other characters.

The staging was perfect for the piece, as you walked into the theatre the stage is black, the only things visible are a lit window and a small burning fire. As we sit waiting in anticipation for the start of the play, the curtain of the window blows back and forth, all of a sudden we hear a baby scream and the wind howls. All of this sets the tone of the show and this tool of darkness allows the focus on the actors and for audience frights

The show was well performed and the atmosphere of the previously rumoured to be haunted Brookside Theatre felt very apt. It certainly did not feel like a amateur production and I’m looking forward to seeing the next show at the theatre, which is ‘The Buddy Holly Story’ in February 2018

There is still one most chance to see the show on Saturday 4th November 2017

Saul Hodgkin – Jai Sepple
Charles Murdock – Joseph Fitzpatrick
Peggy Murdock – Jenny Draper
Richard Winthrop – Gary Catlin
Elsie Winthrop – Jen Leahey-Hopwood
Teddie Deakin – Bob Pamplin
Miss Bourne – Paula Harris Brett
Julia – Lauren Harrison
Sterling – David Ward
Price – Peter Baker
Jackson – Lee Pierson

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