"Ghostly tales of the Railways"
by Ben Macnair for remotegoat on 12/11/17

Don’t Go Into The Cellar Presents Terror on the Tracks – Birmingham Institute of Art and Design
Railway, stations and trains have always been a rich source of ideas for story-tellers. They are about people leaving, or returning, of chances taken, and mistakes made, so it is no real surprise that writers of ghost stories and tales of the supernatural returned repeatedly to the idea. From esteemed writers such as Charles Dickens and MR James, to many others who history has forgotten, it is a seam of story telling ideas that continually provide ideas and inspiration.
Like all of Don’t Go Into The Cellar’s production, Terror on the Tracks is a two person production, with actor Jonathan Goodwin, and Gary Archer providing atmosphere and sound. We join tavern landlord Lancelot Trubshaw, and his wife Guinevere, who spends the entire time changing barrels, in the snug surrounding of The Railway Tavern. It is a night full of revelry, and drinking, until things take a turn for the macabre.
The stage setting is simple. Two red lights cast shadows, ominously against the wall, whilst a number of tables and glass provide the setting. The use of spine-tingling original music builds to crescendo, further leading to an atmosphere of unease.
Most of the first half is taken up by a reading of Charles Dicken’s The Signalman, rich in accents, characterisation and drama, both explicit and implied. The bigger stage that the Birmingham Institute of Art and Design has causes problems having seen most of Don’t Go Into The Cellars previous productions, they work best in a much more intimate setting, and the increased space between performer and audiences means that there is a certain loss in atmosphere.
The second half of this entertaining evening was given to a number of shorter stories, all rich in detail, and all fitting well together. Terror on the Tracks is an entertaining, and haunting night at the theatre, and a useful addition to Don’t Go Into the Cellar’s already rich performance repertoire.

Add Your review?

Have your say, add your review

Other recent reviews by Ben Macnair
This was a fine adaptation by Ben Macnair
Roxy Magic
a definite highlight in Lichfield by Ben Macnair
Keith James plays the Songs of Leonard Cohen
virtuoso guitar playing, sonorous vocals by Ben Macnair
Rebus: Long Shadows
of a uniformly high standard by Ben Macnair
Lisbee Stainton
folk filled and entertaining show by Ben Macnair