By Arnold Ridley
Performed in November 2008
Directed by Amanda Oelrichs

The Cast: Left to Right: David Percival as Charles Winthrop, Alison Burton as his wife Elsie, David Paternoster as Saul Hodgkin, David Atkinson as Sterling, Heather Carpenter
as Julia, Pete Harrold as Price, Sam Burton as Jackson, Barbara Tilley as Miss Bourne, Alan Carpenter as Teddie Deakin, Hannah Carpenter as Peggy and Paul Goldsmith as
Richard Murdock. The Stage Manager was Laura Burton and set design was by Louis Betts.

Reviews of The Ghost Train . . . .

An excellent set of the station waiting room created good mood for the piece.
And setting the scene with the original ghost tale, a masterly cameo role stationmaster, David Paternoster maintained his Cornish accent throughout along with the character;
was he being helpful to those stranded at the station or just leading the action?
Good casting throughout and especially with the ages of the two young couples very credible, well matched, a good foursome caught up in the action.
Alan Carpenter as Teddie was a really smooth characterisation from a “Jeeves – type play” definitely very annoying to all concerned but coming up trumps in the later scene, well done but not overdone.
Purposely OTT, glamour, drama and hysterics, what a great role to play for Heather Carpenter as Julia Price, and she relished holding centre stage.
A nasty piece of work who received his just rewards in Herbert Price (Pete Harrold).
The interactions from all concerned were good, and the tension rose to a crescendo as the mystery unravelled.

Sue Du Pont - NODA

I am back in the dim and distant, when, as a young teenager and already getting hooked on theatre, I went (religiously!) to weekly rep in Lincoln Theatre Royal
(now, I believe, sadly under threat of closure) and saw, among countless other splendid plays, this remarkable survivor of the 1920’s, and was captivated.
So I was delighted to see that our very own local repertory company, Wymondham Players, were to give us this grand old favourite yet again,
and in Amanda Oelrichs’s thoughtful and sprightly production both director and cast more than did it justice.
Being a bit of a railway buff, too, anything with a country station and its dingy waiting room (however far flung on some derelict branch line) stirs my spirit!

A first-rate cast took on their task with huge confidence and style, and the action moved swiftly and surely without losing any of the meticulous detailing of Arnold Ridley’s classic script.
The ever-excellent Alan Carpenter played the silly ass Teddie Deakin with delightful gusto but without once suggesting (until the denouement)
that he was in fact the detective inspector hot on the case of the gun-running ring using the sleepy South Cornish Joint Railway as their getaway route.
Heather Carpenter gave us a creepy account of the apparently innocent, but deeply troubled, woman complicit in the affair.
I was impressed, too, by David Percival and Paul Goldsmith as Richard Winthrop and Charles Murdock, all commercial bluster,
and manfully attempting to assure their wives, played by Alison Burton and Hannah Carpenter
with a determined effort at cool acceptance of the inconvenience their journey had caused them.

All supporting roles were given an excellent account by well-loved and familiar faces and,
apart from a couple of technical hitches with the train effects on the night I attended, backstage support was strong and contributed to our overall enjoyment.
Louis Betts’s design provided a perfect setting for the action and costumes were classic 1920’s modes.
The large audiences which this production attracted were well rewarded with a memorable performance and this can only augur well for future productions of this fine company.

David Hare

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