The Great Train Robbery

Everyone’s heard of the Great Train Robbery of 1963. This all-female production by Scratchworks tells an alternative version of the story, portraying a company of cleaners who get caught up in the heist of the century. With ingenious use of props – including some borrowed from the audience – and an array of blue boiler suits, the four women regale us with an off-piste and highly irreverent tale.

The story is engaging from the start, and the actors are hugely talented, portraying a wide variety of characters with the help of slight changes in voice and demeanour (and in one case, a “moustache”). There is some audience interaction, but it’s all good fun: we are called upon to help move the stash from one place to another, and one lucky man gets to act as an alibi for one of the cleaners.

Sound effects, mime and knowing asides help to move the story along, and overall this is a highly entertaining take on a real-life event that over the years has attained something of a mythical status.

Scratchworks are based in Devon but perform all over the country. Check out their website: personally I would love to see another of their shows.

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