Saturday, 9 November 2013

'Strangers on a Train' Gielgud Theatre ***

The production of 'Strangers on a Train' has definitely proved that the work by the legendary film director Alfred Hitchcock definitely deserves its place of the theatrical stage. The play written by Craig Warner has encapsulated the atmosphere created in the 1951 blockbuster of a film. The play is centred around architect Guy Haines who seems quite frustrated with his marriage that he even contemplates ending his wife's life and when he stumbles upon Charles Bruno a domineering stranger of whom he meets on a train seems that his plan may actually succeed . The plot has been cleverly constructed as to not damage the narrative that audiences know and understand from the movie. I feel that the subtle changes have been thought of with such ease and affection so that it can appeal to people who have not seen the motion picture. The performances by the whole company were incredibly impressive for such a new play. I found Laurence Fox's interpretation of Guy Haines was an outstanding piece of acting as he conveys an architect that becomes aggravated by Charles Bruno's constant occurrence in his life to a high standard of finish. It seems that he has understood the level of detail needed to engage an audience of over 1000 people. In addition Jack Huston's performance of the possessive Charles Bruno is amazing as he embodies a character that seems highly troubled and mentally unstable and it seems that he uses Guy as a comfort blanket. The director Robert Allan Ackerman has captured the essence of Hitchcock's film direction but with his own creative decisions to appeal to the theatregoers of Britain and to tourists. I almost became quite intrigued as to why he has chosen to direct an adaptation of the world renowned film that can engage with contemporary audiences. I was quite pleased with the direction of the play. The set design by Tim Goodchild was an interesting piece of craftsmanship as it conveyed the late 1940s and early 1950s time periods and this has been successfully thought of and constructed. As well as, I liked the black and white scenic arts and concepts to depict the atmosphere of a film experience. Even though the performance I saw was in previews and needs refinement I feel that it will be a successful production. I was engaged and entertained and that is what I like in a piece of theatre.        

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