The Ghost Train – Devonshire Park Theatre 21-25 April
Arnold Ridley’s The Ghost Train probably wouldn’t have been my first choice of theatre production to go and see at the Devonshire Park this season. I’m not usually into thrillers or murder stories on stage and to try and throw comedy into the mix as well seemed like an idea that could easily fall flat in both areas.
Some great character roles and well-timed moments made this production successful as both a comedy and a thriller, with the result that it was a really entertaining and enjoyable night out.
In my experience of seeing Talking Scarlet productions over the last year or so, I feel that they consistently create a traditional theatrical experience for the audience, and the Devonshire Park is a great home for this kind of production. Neither edgy nor experimental, there is a strong emphasis on dialogue, staging and traditional set design, and a choice of productions that tends to reflect traditional values.
The Ghost Train is one such production and won’t disappoint those who like their theatre traditional. There are questions about the role of women and the treatment of ideas that don’t conform to ageing patriarchal values in these kinds of productions, but they are historically accurate and illuminating.
Besides this, I found The Ghost Train really entertaining and surprisingly successful in its genre. It’s a good night at the theatre in Eastbourne this week.