20 February 2018

Strangers on a Train at Richmond Theatre was well conceived and expertly delivered


I went to Richmond Theatre expecting Strangers on a Train to be the usual high standard touring show that I am used to seeing there. It was much much better than that.

I had seen Strangers on a Train before, also at Richmond Theatre but that was some years ago and I had forgotten most of the story. The touring shows that come to Richmond are usually pretty good so it was an easy decision to go to see this one, particularly as my ATG Theatre Card meant that I could get seat Dress Circle A7 for a remarkably cheap £24.

One of the features of touring shows is that they tend to have slick staging and this was no exception. This is how the stage looked before the show started and if you look closely you can see a faint image of the Stars and Stripes. As the show started more colour was added to the picture and the flag became obvious.

That trick was done with projection and projection was used throughout to create different scenes with the boards sliding apart to reveal different rooms behind. It was in some ways quite simple and it was also very effective. I had seen projections used before but never as well as this.

Of course the staging is nothing without a story to tell and characters that engage the audience. Strangers on a Train was a decent enough story, again as is common with touring shows it was fairly middle-of-the-road, there were no dead babies, with enough twists in it to keep everybody interested for a couple of hours.

Leading the strong cast was Christopher Harper as the rich, heavy drinking and boisterous Charles Bruno who set the dark events in motion. Alongside him Jack Ashton was the ideal foil as Guy Haines, his quiet and submissive partner in crime. Hannah Tointon added a nice spark as Guy’s fiancĂ© Anne Faulkner. Their performances also helped to lift an already good show up another notch or two.

Strangers on a Train knew was well conceived and expertly delivered which made it a thoroughly entertaining evening.

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