The Ghost Train
By Arnold Ridley
Told by an Idiot
Royal Exchange Theatre, 19 May 2015
In Arnold Ridley’s comedy adventure we are in Edwardian England, sort of, John Buchan and/or P.G. Wodehouse country.
Various disgruntled passengers find themselves having to spend the night at a deserted railway station, a station that is supposed to be haunted by a ghost train. Among them we find a bickering couple, a pair of newly-weds, a suspicious looking spinster, an oddball sportsman who we come to learn more about later. The porter – sorry, stationmaster: he is very pernickety about how he is addressed – is a cantankerous curmudgeon who is reluctant to let them stay. He’s less than welcoming, let’s put it like that.
It was all good, but for my money two performances stood out. Calum Finlay’s turn as the aforementioned oddball, sporty type of fellow, who’s a bit of a smart aleck too, come to think of it, was done with great aplomb. And Javier Marzan, who was villain and vixen both, donning female clothing for the spinster role, a certain Miss Bourne, was splendid too.
Told by an Idiot’s reputation for creating inventive and entertaining theatre is well known; this production will further enhance their reputation. The Ghost Train is a knockabout comedy that children and grown-ups will enjoy.
The Ghost Train is showing at the Royal Exchange until 20 June, further details can be found here.