ACT Theatre Reviews 2021-2022

THE GHOST TRAIN by Arthur Ridley Directed by John Mills Colne Dramatic Society The Ghost Train, written in 1923 by Arnold Ridley (possibly better known as Private Godfrey in Dad’s Army) is a play that delivers chills, scares, and laughs in equal measure. Although written nearly 100 years ago, you can see why it’s still performed today. The play is solid as a rock and the Little Theatre audience was entertained from start to finish. We opened to one of the best sets I’ve seen at the venue: a small general waiting room at Fort Vale, a station on the South Cornwall Railway. The set was nothing short of superb, capturing the period perfectly, making expert use of the small space. With its period notices on the walls, hat hooks and a small ticket office complete with shutter, and a roaring fire. Top marks for John and his team on the excellent design. For us to follow the twists and turns of the piece you need a strong cast. We begin with Richard and Elsie Winthrop, an unhappily married couple. Steve Cooke and Susan Hartley were excellent as the bickering couple. Cooke is always well turned out on stage and with his pitch perfect period RP accent and clear delivery he held a lot of the action together, perfectly complimented by the waspish Susan Hartley. Tess James and James Seymour play newly weds Peggy and Charlie Murdock. This is the second time I’ve seen Tess on stage but in a completely different role. She was in total command of what she was doing: a lovely innocent performance. James was suitably naïve and nervous as her husband (with a dash of English pluck added in.) To add to the already eclectic group of people, Vivienne Mills was the crusty teetotaller, Miss Bourne. Mills was very funny chatting away to her caged pet bird or having a drink to steady her nerves. Steve Grist handled an almost dual role with aplomb. Steve has a flair for character parts and he shone in the space. The plot is deceptively simple although the whole truth of the matter