A review round up for The Girl On The Train at the West Yorkshire Playhouse
The highly anticipated stage adaptation of Paula Hawkins’ bestselling novel The Girl on the Train has opened to crushingly low star ratings and harsh reviews at the West Yorkshire Playhouse.
Paula Hawkins’ novel was an international phenomenon selling over twenty million copies worldwide. With a plot line that keeps you guessing right until the end, the play adaptation tells the story of Rachel Watson who longs for a different life.
A chronic alcoholic, Rachel’s 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 the woman she’s been secretly watching has suddenly disappeared, she finds herself as a witness and even a suspect in a thrilling mystery in which she will face bigger revelations than she could ever have anticipated.
The Girl On The Train runs from 29 May 2018 until 9 June 2018 at the West Yorkshire Playhouse.
Find tickets to The Girl On The Train at the Duke of York’s Theatre, London
The Girl On The Train transfer to London’s West End and is now booking from 23 July 2019 until 17 August 2019 at the Duke of York’s Theatre, London.
Read a round-up of reviews below.
The Girl On The Train reviews
"is Paula Hawkins's bestseller unadaptable?"
“Here you feel that an eerily compelling novel, with its multiple narration and Hitchcockian voyeurism, has been turned into a workmanlike thriller and you focus more on what is missing than on any minor gains.
"It’s one thing to give female protagonists agency, but it doesn’t need to be detective agency."
"Hawkins’s book resists adaptation and should be left in the hands of enthralled readers.”
"Jil Halfpenny not only heads an impressive cast she steals the show"
"Rachel Wagstaff and Duncan Abel’s smart adaptation is a hugely impressive piece of work"
"What makes this adaptation so impressive is that, whether or not you know the book or film, it still works. The simple, but effective, staging which revolves around a single set adds to the sense of isolation that pervades this clever modern fable."
"This is a train wreck"
“Menace and tension are obliterated in a teeth-grindingly slow production that is about as exciting as rush hour during a rail strike
"The adaptors Rachel Wagstaff and Duncan Abel have assiduously erased every element that gives Hawkins’s otherwise rather workmanlike prose its queasy, prickly compulsion."
"They’ve done away with the multiple viewpoints and blurred identities in favour of endless static, shouty face-offs and painful dialogue, strewn with walloping lumps of exposition and weak jokes.”
"Lacking in tension"
"If you were coming to the production with little knowledge of the source material, you’d struggle to understand its popularity. For most of the first half, the play feels like a particularly pedestrian episode of Law and Order."
"Major revelations are robbed of their emotional wallop and, given that the production is supposed to be a thriller, it delivers very few thrills.”
"Criminally bad stage adaptation"
"Rachel Wagstaff and Duncan Abel’s version is as appealing as a British Rail sandwich: it has the capacity to get up the noses of the novel’s fans and may leave such a rancid aftertaste it might put people off theatre for good."
"They’ve hacked away the description, voyeuristic and self-scrutinising, that gives the writing its lyrical lilt – saving only a bare sprig for the end."
"Don’t say you weren’t warned: on all points, failure.”