Ghost Train Riders (second review)

GhostTrainRidersLargeWriter: Radha S Menon
Director: Tony Sciara
Cast: Dia Frid, Maya Huliyappa-Menon
Performed at Gallery #2: Factory Media Centre

Review by: Sean Pittman

Ghost Train Riders at the Factory Media Centre is the story of an old woman waiting in a station after missing her train. Somewhat resentful after a life self-defined by goodbyes and broken promises, actress Dia Frid injects an endearing, grandmotherly quality to the otherwise defeatist character. When interrupted by the ‘cheeky’ teenaged girl portrayed by Maya Huliyappa-Menon, the old woman is forced to confront her past, her forgotten youth, and her life moments between the ‘series of goodbyes’. The script is very strong and accessible, exploring themes of aging, mortality, family and love. Frid and Huliyappa-Menon are an excellent match on stage and their chemistry adds to the realism of the piece. When the old woman feels defeated (“I’m too old for that”) the teen pushes her to remember the joys of youth; from laughing until you can’t breath to the feeling of invincibility after climbing a tree. Sound design and multimedia are used in the play to blur the audience’s perception of reality. Is the old woman waiting for a physical train, or does her journey with the teen take place in some alternate state of consciousness? Keep an eye out for Passengers by director Tony Sciara, a larger project from which Ghost Train Riders is derived.

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