For those who love the nostalgia of a 1950s comedy about villagers running a branch railway line when British Rail close it down, Seaford Little Theatre’s production of The Titfield Thunderbolt is just the ticket.
But don’t expect belly laughs because the humour in this dated adaptation of the Ealing film is subtle and whimsical.
Director Margaret Kennedy stays faithful to Philip Goulding’s quaint, warm-hearted script and, after a slow build-up, the play comes into its own in the second act, especially through the banter which Angie James and Jenny Humphries have with the audience as Lady Chesterford and buxom barmaid Joan Weech.
Titfield Thunderbolt’s 14 characters were originally played by five actors, but Seaford Little Theatre uses a cast of ten.
Mike Piller makes a fine Seaford debut as ruthless bus service boss Vernon Crump and hard-drinking publican Mr Valentine. Roland Boorman throws himself into the part of an eccentric vicar.
Images of the train and bus rely heavily on the imagination of the audience, who become passengers and pass down water containers to prevent the express blowing up.