Play review by Julia Pattison: Strangers On A Train Set at Pocklington Arts Centre

Strangers on a Train Set was at Pocklington Arts Centre.
Strangers on a Train Set was at Pocklington Arts Centre.

Play: Strangers On A Train Set

Venue: Pocklington Arts Centre

Review by: Julia Pattison

It was full steam ahead for satirical duo Lip Service, alias York actress Maggie Fox and Sue Ryding in their fast and furious new Murder spoof show Strangers on a Train Set.

The auditorium at Pocklington Arts Centre was as packed as Platform 9 3/4 as news of this dramatic duo’s zany style had obviously spread; the early bookers were the lucky ones who got a ticket to ride.

I’ve seen Lip Service on a few occasions now, and they were criminally funny and on top form as nerdy Derek and Geoff, huge train enthusiasts who took us into their world of a model train, (but no ordinary train!) before morphing into train passengers Irene Sparrow, a feisty elderly lady of mystery and Robert, a young man sat opposite her, who discovered that she wasn’t as fusty as he thought, and wasn’t to be messed with.

Lip Service’s shows have certainly moved with the times, with excellent use of film projection and special effects (Connoll Pavey) sound (Rob Athorn), movement (Dominic Biddle), music (Oliver Vibrans ) and lighting (Greg Akehurst) to complement the action on stage. Maggie Fox and Sue Ryding were spot on with their comic timing, and interaction with the audience; there was a real sense of mischief and mayhem created along with some wonderful spoof scenes alluding to Brief Encounter (Briefs on the Counter), and pantomime like antics involving Pants in a mock-up of the famous Railway Children story which stopped the audience in their tracks with laughter.

Designed by Michael Holt and directed by Lawrence Till, Strangers On A Train Set is on tour until June 2019. Visit for the full schedule if you missed seeing them at Pocklington.