Review: The Ghost Train at The Spring, Havant

HumDrum's The Ghost Train
HumDrum's The Ghost Train
As You Like It, with Jessica Hayles centre. Picture by Keith Pattison

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I must confess to loving a good ghost story and so I was very much looking forward to settling in for the evening with this particular HumDrum production.

With beautifully atmospheric smoke filling the room, we are ensconced in an isolated 1920s train station waiting room on a stormy night.

The stationmaster - a suitably craggy performance from Ben Counter giving us probably the only bit of tension in the whole production - seems in a hurry to leave, but not before he has told the tale of the legendary ghost train that is said to pass through this very station and will appear again, tonight!

Although at times the storytelling lost pace somewhat due to lack of projection from some of the cast, Matthew Cooper’s comic timing and unfaltering delivery as dandy Teddie Deakin really helped drive the narrative on. Lara Hardwick’s turn as newlywed Peggy Murdock was faultless and Gemma Valler showed her superb versatility as the seemingly hysterical Julia Price.

All in all there were some nice tricks and a couple of jumpy moments but in order to pull off the ‘ghostly’ elements of the story it needed more sense of anticipation and tension at times.

However, it was a perfect antidote to a cold and rainy evening and still a ripping good yarn!