The Ghost Train

The Ghost Train
By Arnold Ridley. Directed by Lori Anders. Murray Music and Drama Club. Pinjarra Civic Centre, WA. Jul 29-Aug 6, 2022

The Murray Music and Drama Club have really turned on the atmosphere for their production of the comic thriller The Ghost Train, combining expertly created stage effects and setting with perfect weather conditions - with the current wet and cold conditions matching the show beautifully.

The set, constructed by Andy Peckover and Trevor Delaporte, beautifully recreates a country station waiting room, appropriately decrepit, with excellent attention to detail. Thrilling lighting creates both storm and scares, operated well by Rp van der Westhuizen, while unnerving sound effects are created by Matthew Wake. Costumes appropriate to both era and character have been well co-ordinated by Cathy Puzey. Playing cabaret style, lovely table decorations help transport us back in time.

Great teamwork and interactions from the passengers unexpectedly stranded at the isolated station. Kelly Cure and Andrew Peckover work well together as quarrelling couple Elise and Richard Winthrop. Sebastian Berry makes a solid community theatre debut as newlywed Charles Murdock, nicely partnered by Tess Withnell, also new to Murray Music and Drama, as his bride Peggy. Carole Dhu steals scenes as uptight spinster Miss Bourne, while Steven Jones is clearly having a ball, shining as the foppish and obnoxious Teddie Deakin.

In smaller roles, Peter Bonner is believable as Station Master Saul Hodgkin and Bindi Jordan is appropriately both elegant and slightly unhinged as Julia Price. Tammy Peckover fills the shoes of Joanna Stirling (usually John Stirling) rather well, with good support provided by Joel Gal as Herbert Price and Drake Gordon as Jackson.

This very English play with lashings of “Look here good fellows” and other lovely Britishisms, still plays nicely nearly a century after its conception.

Nicely produced, with great attention to detail, offering thrills and a few laughs.

Kimberley Shaw

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