Thursday, 5 December 2013

Strangers on a Train

Published in The Irish World newspaper

By Leah Quinn  27/11/2013


Modern entertainment tells us that everything must be computerized and popping from our screens in order to amuse us. Craig Warner’s new stage adaption of Strangers on a Train throws modern impressions on thrill- seeking out the window and brings the audience back to an era when sheer suspense and edge of your seat drama reigned supreme.


This latest production, based on Patricia Highsmiths novel, was a monochrome feast for the eyes and exuded the visual legacy of a Hitchcock thriller.


The story tells of two young men who meet on a train. They engage in conversation and agree to commit murders for each other by killing off the people in their lives who are stopping them from being fully content and successful. This agreement however is more sincere on the part of the Charlie Bruno, played by Jack Huston ( interviewed by The Irish World), who is a lunatic and fails to see that his companion, Guy Haines, played by Laurence Fox, has not shared his sentiments with mutual intention.
                                          Clip from Hitchcock's Strangers on a Train


It is from their first encounter that an intense nightmare unfolds laden with blackmail, torment and insanity as Guy Haines is slowly dragged into the twisted world of his tormenter.


The set changes were too numerous to count and each more impressive than the next. It baffled me how they managed to change the setting so quickly as we were brought from an elegant 1950’s train carriage to a the grand staircase of an old mansion in a matter of minutes.


This clever tale tells the audience of how even the briefest encounters can impact on our lives and affect events to come. It builds at the perfect pace allowing the audience to share some of Haine’s emotions as Bruno reappears all too often becoming more and more a monster and less of the gentlemen with whom both we and Haines were first acquainted.


This was a superb production which kept the audience wincing in their seats from beginning to end, the involvement of producers from the James Bond movies set the perfect scene for such a story and the lead actors brought it all to life. This was one of the best shows I have seen in a quite a while so if, like me, you get dizzy from 3D glasses and never quite notice when something is HD, take a trip to the Gielgud and relive authentic thrills.


Strangers on a Train plays at the Gielgud Theatre in Shaftsbury Avenue


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