Photo by Lauren B. Photography
The Ghost Train_Jackson Street Roundhouse
Cue the dramatic sound effects, the clichéd rain, and the ghost story told with huge emotion and a cockney accent. Mission & Wayward Theatre Companies have joined forces to present Arnold Ridley’s 1923 The Ghost Train through April 15. Instead of an ordinary stage, the cast is taking the train part more literally, and performing at the Jackson Street Roundhouse, a setting that may be slightly camp, but is all the more delightful because of it.
After settling down with the tabloid-style programs (complete with crossword puzzle), the audience is introduced to six hapless passengers stranded at the train station for the night. In typical form, they all have big quirks and big personalities: There’s the newlyweds, the businessman and his wife, the fool, and the prim and proper. Like any group that’s thrown together, feathers are ruffled and buttons are pushed, but really, that’s all a trifling matter after they learn a soul-stealing haunted train is coming.
Director Sarah Nargang kept the actors in tight quarters, but the proximity left room for plenty of dynamic and creative staging, physical humor, and passive-aggressive punch lines. To be afraid or to not be afraid—that is the question of the night. Some other questions you might have are, “Where did the body go?” and “Did you hear that, too?”
With a mix of banter and eureka moments similar to the 1985 movie Clue starring Tim Curry, and the timeless, blundering humor of more innocent whodunits like Scooby Doo, The Ghost Train is a charming way to spend the evening. Plus, when the lights go up, and the fictional railway station fades away, you find yourself amid actual train cars and memorabilia to explore.
The Ghost Train. Through April 15, $40-15, Minnesota Transportation Museum, 193 Pennsylvania Ave. E, St. Paul, waywardtheatre.org.