Stranded in a lonely Cornish railway station late at night an ill-assorted group of characters find themselves caught up in the eerie tale of a spectral train and the series of startling events that its imminent appearance sets in motion.
The Ghost Train is a thrilling and chilling suspense drama with plenty of twists and turns and it certainly kept everyone guessing to the very end. Its special effects were unrivalled in its day and the dramatic appearance of the Ghost Train itself is a spectacular piece of theatre; a spooky evening out that had audiences on the edge of their seats.
In the run-up to Christmas, Guildburys were delighted to join forces with the Rotary Club of Guildford district to raise funds for Disability challengers and an evening performance was dedicated to doing just that, raising £1675.
‘Fabulous show yesterday evening. We all really enjoyed it very much. Congratulations to you, all the cast and, of course, to all who remain unseen behind the stage.’
Might I say that I really enjoyed “The Ghost Train.” My companions and I had a lovely evening at the Electric Theatre watching this. It was a really entertaining and suspenseful production! We all had a great time.
REVIEW FROM TINX NEWTON, Surrey Advertiser
In the words of the director, Rob Sheppard, ‘The Ghost Train is a good old fashioned yarn of the kind that used to be found in boys’ comics, magazines and annuals’. Written by Arnold Ridley and was first performed at Brighton’s Theatre Royal in 1925.
The play is set in a Cornish railway station which in this production was beautifully designed by Ian Nichols and evoked an air of old-fashioned charm. Into this rather stark room of muted creams and browns tumble a nervous band of travellers who have been marooned in the late evening with so sign of a train until the early hours. We learn that the nearest house is 5 miles away and that it is inconceivable that the ladies in their finest clothes could walk that far.
The play took a little while to warm up on the night I went, a bit like the chilly railway station, but once the cast got their confidence the action rolled along at a hearty pace.
It is hard to pick out a particular star amongst this very able cast, but Pam Hemelryk, as the prudish Miss Bourne who gets tipsy after a hearty sip from a hip flask, had the audience in stitches and seemed completely at ease on stage. She has the knack of cutting across a conversation making it all the more convincing, and she managed to lie still on a table for nearly a whole act – possibly a dream role for some!
With a mix of old fashioned ham, tension and some comedy The Ghost Train continues to amuse and delight audiences. It is a great choice for an amateur group with its range of very different characters and plenty of scope for ambitious set design, lighting and of course dramatic sound effects. The Guildburys tackled all of these with their usual enthusiasm and gusto.
REVIEW FROM NODA
The set, a simple effective 1920’s railway waiting room was designed by Ian Nichols and constructed by Stage Manager Michael Burne assisted by Mike Dean and Brian Meldrum. Robert Sheppard directed this fast moving production of The Ghost Train, about a spooky train crash which happened many years ago and is re-enacted every year at the same hour, well assisted by the cast who kept up the pace of the play in a very professional manner. All the actors played their parts in a convincing manner creating the required tension.
Special mentions of the station master Mark Ashdown (Saul Hodgkin) with his superb Cornish accent, Pam Hemelryk (Miss Bourne) as the tipsy, very hilarious lady with a liking for brandy and Eddie Woolrich (Teddie Deakin) in the comic part. A highlight was the convincing acting of Claire Racklyeft (Julia Price) when the train was about to arrive.
Overall this was an excellent production enjoyed by the audience and made for a good evening’s entertainment
Well done to the entire cast.
Production photography Phill Griffith
Click on a thumbnail to see the full sized image