Previewed 2 November 2013, Opened 19 November 2013, Closed 22 February 2014 at the Gielgud Theatre in London.
Patricia Highsmith's classic thriller Strangers on a Train in London adapted for the stage by Craig Warner and starring Laurence Fox and Jack Huston.
A seemingly innocent conversation soon turns into a dangerous reality for Guy Haines when he meets Charles Bruno on a train journey. Ahead lies a deadly nightmare of blackmail and psychological torment that threatens to cost Guy his career, his marriage and his sanity. His choice: to kill, or to be framed for a murder he didn't commit. This gripping thriller is based on Patricia Highsmith's acclaimed novel, which was the inspiration for Alfred Hitchcock's legendary movie.
The cast for Strangers on a Train in London features Laurence Fox as 'Guy Haines' and Jack Huston as 'Charles Bruno' with Christian McKay, Miranda Raison, Imogen Stubbs and MyAnna Buring. This production is directed by Robert Allan Ackerman with designs by Tim Goodchild, costumes by Dona Granata, lighting by Tim Lutkin, projection design by Peter Wilms and sound by Avgoustas Psillas.
"It is an extraordinarily good looking production with a great period feel - but Craig Warner's adaptation of Patricia Highsmith's novel makes for a clumsy and clunky ride. The fundamental problem is that it tries too hard to be Alfred Hitchcock's 1951 film version... The censorship rules and social mores of the Fifties meant that the film's homosexual subtext had to be hinted at subtly... Jack Huston is, however, out and proud in this production as Bruno, the man who proposes to bump off the tiresome wife of Guy and I think that is what derails the whole piece. All of a sudden, it is deprived of its in jokes, its clever little nuances and the enigmatic glances that its protagonists had shared on the screen. It is a work no longer shaded in greys, but vulgar and obvious primary colours... Its great redeeming feature is, however, Tim Goodchild's revolving set, which turns like a carousel to reveal one beautifully realised Art Deco scene after another. Together with Dona Granata's costumes and Tim Lutkin's lighting, it is without the question the best-looking show I have seen in the capital in many years." The Sunday Telegraph
"Once seen, it's impossible to forget the creepy brilliance of the Hitchcock thriller Strangers On A Train, inspired by Patricia Highsmith's novel... So it's something of a triumph that Robert Allan Ackerman's stage production is also spectacular. Craig Warner's patchy adaptation sticks more closely to the original story, but the movie is the visual inspiration. Tim Goodchild's noirish set, a non-stop monochrome nightmare, spins sickeningly from swanky 1950s train interior with flashing projections of the passing landscape and empty train-track, to a fairground suggested by a ghostly wheel soaring into the sky, to lavish apartments, spooky mansions and one of the best stage blazes ever... And everything - costumes, furniture, props - is black and white and at least 50 shades of grey... Alas, what's missing is suspense, and without that even spectacle gets tedious." The Mail on Sunday
"It's billed as a new play based on Patricia Highsmith's 1950 novel but this rapidly derailed thriller by Craig Warner also owes an enormous debt to Hitchcock... It' all stunningly film noir. Yet however spectacular the visuals, this is a classic case of the stage pointlessly attempting to do what cinema does better. Theatrically, it's as substantial and satisfying as popcorn... It's occasionally entertaining, but doesn't come close to the complexity of Highsmith's novel or the racy panache of Hitchcock's film." The London Metro
"Craig Warner's new version of Strangers on a Train seems to owe more to the original, darker 1950 novel by Patricia Highsmith than it does to the Hitchcock movie made not long after, at least in terms of character and plot. In looks, though, this new stage version, with its shadowy noir chic, is about as richly cinematic as you can get... The first half is powerfully compelling and horribly believable, but in the second half, with the unravelling, the action and pacing drag... The climax, entirely reimagined by Warner, is immensely powerful. It's a full-on Wagnerian Liebestod, searingly dramatic, yet making perfect emotional sense: a fine conclusion to a mixed evening." The Sunday Times
Laurence Fox is probably best known for playing 'DS James Hathaway' in the television series Lewis. His recent London West End stage credits include David Grindley's revival of Jonathan Lewis' play Our Boys at the Duchess Theatre in 2012 and Laurence Boswell's revival of Christopher Hampton's play Treats at the Garrick Theatre in 2007. He appeared alongside Jack Huston in Sir Peter Hall's revival of George Bernard Shaw's play Mrs Warren's Profession at the Novello Theatre in 2002. Jack Huston's recent television and film credits include Boardwalk Empire, The Twilight Saga: Eclipse and as 'Jack Kerouac' in the new film Kill Your Darlings which is due to be released in November 2013.
Strangers On A Train in London at the Gielgud Theatre previewed from 2 November 2013, opened on 19 November 2013 and closed on 22 February 2014