Set just before the second world war, this production presents the mysterious story of the disapearance of a kind old lady somewhere between Europe and London – and one passenger’s resilience to find her.
The Lady Vanishes was a 1938 Alfred Hitchcock film – adapted for the stage by Antony Lampard and presented by The Classic Thriller Theatre Company.
Notable stars of TV & Theatre form part of this high caliber cast. No stranger to acting the detective role, Andrew Lancel (The Bill, Coronation Street and much more) is quality from his entrance and throughout. As is Gwen Taylor (Trollied, Midsummer Murders, Monty Python) as Miss Froy – a fine actress who oozes quality on stage.
You are instantly transported into a convincing train station, a good set that converts very smartly into the train for the duration of the show. Sliding doors to train compartments split the action well.
The action itself, is, well, ludicrous! Staying authentic to the original script requires a modern day audience to part with their senses to some degree. It’s oddly farcical for a thriller, but it’s not meant to be. There are weak moments of unconvincing action throughout this play which could have been addressed. There is also a disctinct lack of likeability with many of the characters where there could so easily have been. It has all the ingredients, but is somehow lacking in these departments.
It has to be said though that an almost full house of a largely older age group were appeared thoroughly entertained, with a warm applause for this talented cast despite the script’s (or Directing’s?) shortcomings.
This production will without doubt continue to entertain it’s target market from now until the end of it’s tour. This is a daytime TV thriller for a daytime TV audience.
The Lady Vanishes plays Derby Theatre until Saturday 12th October and stays on UK Tour until December. To book tickets or to find out more information, please click here.