I had no expectations. I haven’t seen the film and I haven’t read the book, so I was going in completely blind, and I was completely enthralled.

The plot revolves around the murder of Megan Hipwell, played by Kirsty Oswald, with the only witness to her demise being Rachel Watson, played by Samantha Womack, who can’t remember the night but did wake up with blood on her hands and a cut to her head.

As Rachel tried to unravel the mystery surrounding the murder she get to know Megan’s husband Scott, played by Oliver Farnworth, which creates more trouble than it’s worth.

Alongside this she must navigate the murky waters of her ex-husband and his new wife and baby (Tom Watson, played by Adam Jackson-Smith, and Anna Watson, played by Lowenna Melrose).

Swindon Advertiser: Adam Jackson-Smith and Samantha Womack. Photo by Manuel HarlanAdam Jackson-Smith and Samantha Womack. Photo by Manuel Harlan

Overall, this production is worth-a-watch, I was gripped by the plot and most of the actors gave great performances.

The one issue I had, especially in the first act, was Samantha Womack’s performance. For me it was a bit wooden, especially during the first few scenes. Lines weren’t delivered with much emotion and I didn’t feel as if she wanted to be there, however, the character during the first act is almost constantly drunk and her acting could have just been ‘drunk acting’. Either way it didn’t grab me.

The stand-out was the second act. I felt that everyone really hit their strides after the interval.

Samantha’s performance drastically improved – her character had also stopped drinking – the plot really started to gather pace and I found myself trying to work out who-dunnit along with the characters.

One of the stand-out performers was John Dougall as D.I Gaskill, he only had a handful of scenes but every one he was in, he stole it. I could have done with more, especially at the end to give formal end.

Swindon Advertiser: John Dougall. Photo by Manuel HarlanJohn Dougall. Photo by Manuel Harlan

Because this production does just end. There is a resolution to the plot and the characters are given an end to their arc, but it seems very quick.

There is just one scene at the end of the show where two characters recap the end of events and say that they’re ‘doing okay’ and then they leave and two people walk on. You think, oh maybe a new scene, the pair are dressed as police officers, but no, they bow and oh it’s the end of the show, time to applaud.

Something that I felt bothered me throughout the show however was the sound. There wasn’t a score, no orchestra, but music queues came in every now and then and they were very loud, too loud if I’m honest.

Made worse by voicemails and intercoms that were played out of the tiny speakers on the stage rather than from the ones in the auditorium, which made it very hard to hear key pieces of expositional dialogue.

That all being said, I did have a good time with The Girl on the Train, the plot made me forgive any shortcomings in performances, and the one performance I did have an issue did dramatically improve after the break. Sound aside it was technically put together well with some interesting visuals.

If you’re a fan of the book or the film, I would imagine you’d like the show. If you’ve never read or seen it before, then I would highly recommend giving it a go.

The Girl on the Train: 3.5/5