For many members of the audience the sounds coming from behind the stage curtains as they took their seats were reminiscent of long-forgotten steam train journeys and the curtain rose to another best-forgotten feature of yesteryear – the bleak, cold and exceedingly uncomfortable station waiting room!

This is the simple, yet extremely effective set for Talking Scarlet’s production of Arnold Ridley’s The Ghost Train.  The play, written in 1923 by prolific playwright Ridley (best known for his role as Private Godfrey in Dad’s Army’) is a comedy-thriller set in 1925 at a small waiting room at Fal Vale, a wayside station of the South Cornwall Joint Railway.  It comes complete with moments of genuine terror combined with episodes of humour – the latter in particular from foppish Teddy Deakin, excellently portrayed by Tom Butcher – a character who would not have been out of place in a Wodehouse story!  For some, the play may have seemed a little dated – but perhaps that is the point.  It is a true period piece and why attempt to put a modern spin on something so well written and acted: if it ain’t broke, don’t mend it!

Front (l-r): Chris Sheridan, Judy Buxton (Corrinne Wicks behind), David Janson, Sophie Powles and  Jo Castleton Back: Ben Roddy, John Hester, Tom Butcher, Jeffrey Holland, Jolyon Young

Front (l-r): Chris Sheridan, Judy Buxton (Corrinne Wicks behind), David Janson, Sophie Powles and
Jo Castleton
Back: Ben Roddy, John Hester, Tom Butcher, Jeffrey Holland, Jolyon Young

With so many familiar faces amongst the cast, it was hardly surprising that the theatre bar was again packed with Friends to meet them on their opening night at the Devonshire Park. It was wonderful to welcome back so many old friends returning to Eastbourne and perhaps unusual for the cast to include two married couples: Tom Butcher and Corrinne Wicks and Jeffrey Holland and Judy Buxton. Good to have the chance to chat to such a talented and friendly bunch of actors and we look forward to seeing them all again soon – and for some we learnt that the wait should not be too long!