The Girl On the Train Pulls Into Norwich
Paula Hawkins’ 2015 acclaimed number-one best-selling novel The Girl On the Train was an international phenomenon selling over twenty million copies worldwide. Now adapted into a stage play, it is set to entertain Norwich Theatre Royal audiences from July 1-6 prior to a West End transfer.
A gripping psychological thriller, starring Samantha Womack and Oliver Farnworth, it guarantees to have you on the edge of your seat and will keep you guessing until the final moment.
Scripted by Rachel Wagstaff and Duncan Abel, and directed by Anthony Banks, the play is touring the UK throughout 2019. The 2016 Dreamworks film version starring Emily Blunt, whose portrayal of the central character earned her a BAFTA nomination, relocated the story to the United States, but the stage version returns it to its UK roots.
Samantha now takes on the central role of Rachel Watson, an unhappy alcoholic who longs for a different life. Her only escape is the perfect couple she watches through the train window every day, happy and in love. Or so it appears. When Rachel learns that Megan, the woman she’s been secretly watching, has suddenly disappeared, she finds herself as both a witness and a potential suspect in a thrilling mystery in which she will face bigger revelations than she could ever have anticipated.
Samantha has starred extensively in television, film and theatre and is best known for playing Ronnie Mitchell in BBC1’s EastEnders. Other television credits include leading roles in Mount Pleasant and the hugely popular Game On. Her recent films include: Kingsman: The Golden Circle and Kingsman: The Secret Service alongside Colin Firth, and she also recently played Morticia in a tour of The Addams Family.
Oliver Farnworth, who is best known for playing Andy Carver in Coronation Street, plays Scott with John Dougall as DI Gaskill, Naeem Hayatt as Kamal Abdic, Adam Jackson-Smith as Tom Watson, Lowenna Melrose as Anna Watson, and Kirsty Oswald as Megan Hipwell. They are joined by Philippa Flynn and Matt Concannon in the ensemble.
Samantha said: “Having been thoroughly captivated by the novel, the opportunity to take on a role like this is incredibly exciting. I’ve been fascinated by thrillers for a long time and this kind of storytelling, like Hitchcock’s Rear Window, offers us a voyeur’s journey into a world which is dangerous and full of suspense.”
Acclaimed for his direction of Strangers On A Train and Gaslight, set in the 1950s and 1930s respectively, director Anthony Banks believes the fact The Girl On The Train is set in the present day, in familiar but unspecified locations, is an extra lure for theatregoers. “It’s instantly recognisable for that reason,” he says, “and it could be your street and they could be your neighbours. This could be happening to you.”
The Girl On The Train runs at the Norwich Theatre Royal from Monday 1-Saturday 6 July at 7.30pm, and Wed and Sat matinees at 2.30pm. Note: Audio-described performance on Sat July 6 at 2.30pm.
Tickets £10-£33.50. Discounts for Friends, Over-60s, Under-18s and Groups. To book, log onto www.theatreroyalnorwich.co.uk or call the box office on 01603 630000.