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The El Train review at Hoxton Hall London

Eugene O’Neill’s three intense, one-act plays are powerfully interpreted by a strong cast led by Ruth Wilson. The production benefits from an intimate performance space, designed by Richard Kent, in which the audience become confidantes to the tragedies of O’Neill’s vulnerable characters.

Wilson is the stand-out performer. She is engaging as the frantic Mrs Rowland in Before Breakfast, directing her punchy monologue towards the audience while trying to avoid her husband – an eerie figure behind a curtain.

The actor shows her versatility in The Web as tragic prostitute Rose. She reflects the complex emotions of a character moving between hope and resignation. Her co-star, Zubin Varla, is strong as the callous Steve.

The Dreamy Kid showcases the talented Simon Coombs, Sharon Duncan-Brewster, Nicola Hughes and Ony Uhiara, who work cohesively together. Coombs is particularly strong as Dreamy, a young man who has been tempted into a world of crime. He establishes a touching relationship with Hughes, who plays the long-suffering Mammy Saunders.

The El Train is a well-structured and gripping production. Wilson continues to excel in portraying enigmatic characters with intriguing backstories.

Production Information

Hoxton Hall, London, December 6-30

Author
Eugene O’Neill
Directors
Sam Yates, Ruth Wilson
Producer
Found Productions
Cast includes
Ruth Wilson, Simon Coombs, Nicola Hughes, Zubin Varla, Sharon Duncan-Brewster, Ony Uhiara
Running time
1hr 25mins