The Ghost Train
By Arnold Ridley
26 - 31 October, 2015
Teddy playing the fool
Hopefully Miss Borne will be better after some Brandy
Will they understand
No Doctor Sterling I have to see the train
Are you sure it was not the ghost you saw
Caught the devious lot red handed
The Ghost Train is a theatre mystery thriller, written in 1923 by the English actor and playwright Arnold Ridley. It depicts a group of travellers stranded overnight at a remote railway station, reacting with various degrees of credulity to the station master who tries to get them to leave, citing the local legend of a ghost train that dooms all that see it to death. What is behind it? What is really going on? A classic thriller and entertaining piece of Drama.
After the war – that is WW2 – when Bingley Little Theatre was formed, and I was nobbut a lad, THEATRE was meant to be educational as well as entertaining.
Somewhere along the years, the demand has changed. Most theatre goers want to be entertained more than educated; they have outgrown the kitchen sink dramas and only want to laugh when they go to a show. I suppose that is why we have a proliferation of musicals in the West End now and fewer serious plays.
So why are we doing this antiquated piece The Ghost Train? Well, first of all, Bingley Little Theatre has never done it before.(“shame”). Secondly, it is a classic piece of drama which, in its hey-day after WW1, must have gripped audiences more used to music halls and vaudeville for entertainment. For instance how they achieved the sound of trains arriving and departing with empty oil drums, timpani and tin whistles or the use of electricity which still did not light up many homes in the country.
My aim with this production is to recreate as near as possible the same effect it had on those audiences then, using all the modern technicalities in sound and light that are available today. Don’t worry if the lights flicker during the performance. It is part of demonstrating how times have changed. Accept The Ghost Train for what it is. Remember times were very different in 1925 when the play was first presented. Sit back, enjoy and we will try to scare you.