Saturday, 1 February 2014
The Next Train to Depart - (Review)
Live Theatre to see the sold out play by John Challis, “The Next Train to Depart”, commissioned as a new work by Queens Hall Arts, Hexham.
The tag-line described a ‘Brief Encounter for the 21st Century’. It's a two-hander set in the ambient sounds of Newcastle Central, where an aspirant poet meets a call centre worker.
Both twenty-somethings, she doesn’t remember their first encounter, when rendered mortal as the result of a Lambrini fuelled Hen night.
He writes initially over-the-top poems which he’ll perform under spotlight as the action progresses.
There’s a weave to the action. A dialogue that gradually tunes as they get to know one over several meetings. Maybe the call centre worker has the more poetic eye? Maybe the hours of observing from a table at the station have created an overload?
The performance by Adam Donaldson as Dante created an enigmatic poet, becoming more grounded through the influence of Alex Tahnée as Kayleigh. Alex presents a feisty spirit, a canny awareness of Dante’s observations and a great counterpoint to his outpourings.
Snappily directed by Melanie Rashbrooke, with scarcely an unused second or nuance, this was an elegant performance worthy of its current North Eastern tour, but also in need of being seen by a wider audience throughout the UK.
Somewhere like Theatre 503 should consider this for a London airing.