The Girl on the Train

Full-Length Play, Drama  /  3w, 4m

Based on the bestselling novel by Paula Hawkins and DreamWorks film / Adapted by Rachel Wagstaff and Duncan Abel

A new stage adaptation based on Paula Hawkins' international bestseller and the blockbuster DreamWorks film, The Girl on the Train is a gripping mystery/suspense thriller.

  • Cast Size
    Cast Size
    3w, 4m
  • Duration
    120 minutes (2 hours)
  • SubGenre
    Adaptations (Literature), Adaptations (Stage & Screen), Mystery/Thriller


Rachel Watson longs for a different life. Her only escape is the perfect couple she watches through the train window every day, happy and in love. Or so it appears. When Rachel learns that the woman she’s been secretly watching has suddenly disappeared, she finds herself as a witness and even a suspect in a thrilling mystery in which she will face bigger revelations than she could ever have anticipated.
The Girl On The Train was first performed at West Yorkshire Playhouse on 12 May 2018. Directed by Joe Murphy, the production featured Jill Halfpenny as Rachel Watson. The play was then presented at Milton Keynes Theatre in Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire on 23 January 2019. It was directed by Anthony Banks and featured Samantha Womack as Rachel.


Other characters should be played by members of the company.

  • Time Period Contemporary, Present Day
  • Setting A suburban town in England. Present day.
  • Features Contemporary Costumes / Street Clothes
  • Duration 120 minutes (2 hours)


“Heart-thumping... Don’t miss the hurtling ride of The Girl on the Train.” – London Theatre Direct


Breaking Character

Bringing The Girl on the Train to the Stage:
Q&A with Rachel Wagstaff and Duncan Abel

“Paula Hawkins’ international best-seller [sold] 20 million copies worldwide... Onstage, The Girl on the Train carries that same heart-thumping humanity with all the juddering twists and intermittent periods of darkness – adapted for wider appeal by Rachel Wagstaff and Duncan Abel… Don’t miss the hurtling ride of The Girl on the Train.” – London Theatre Direct

“The stage adaptation is a nicely-balanced vodka martini: sharp, invigorating and definitely not sugary-sweet… [A] fast-moving, beautifully-structured narrative… As the drama speeds along to denouement, layer upon layer upon layer of intrigue and tension by turn obscure and reveal foreboding harbingers of a calamitous climax.” – The Bath Magazine

“Peppered with questions… when a neighbour mysteriously goes missing, Rachel’s memory, which is punctured by alcohol-stained blackouts and missing fragments, is all she has to work with. She tangles her way into the heart of the puzzle.” – Mary-Catherine Harvey, The Up Coming

“Adapted from the hit thriller novel by Paula Hawkins, which told three women’s narratives as they became embroiled in a missing person case… the play strips out the other two narratives and focusses only on Rachel, a hopeless middle-class boozer.” – London Theatre

“Suspenseful… a harsher, suburban, sex-filled variation on The Mousetrap.” – The Arts Desk


Bringing The Girl on the Train to the Stage
November 9, 2020


  • The Girl On The Train - Official West End Trailer youtube thumbnail

    The Girl On The Train - Official West End Trailer

  • The Girl on the Train - Cambridge Arts Theatre Vox Pops youtube thumbnail

    The Girl on the Train - Cambridge Arts Theatre Vox Pops

Licensing & Materials

  • Minimum Fee: £85 per performance plus VAT when applicable.


Available Formats:


Rachel Wagstaff

Rachel Wagstaff wrote the book for the multi-award winning musical Flowers for Mrs Harris (Best Musical, UK Theatre Awards 2016), which transferred to Chichester Festival Theatre, directed by Daniel Evans, in September 2018 after a run at the Sheffield Crucible. Her criticall ...

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Paula Hawkins

Paula Hawkins worked as a journalist for fifteen years before turning her hand to fiction. Born and brought up in Zimbabwe, Paula moved to London in 1989 and has lived there ever since. The Girl on the Train is her first thriller.
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Duncan Abel

Duncan Abel is a writer of plays, radio plays and short stories. He lectured in Creative Writing at the University of Hertfordshire from 2014 to 2015. Duncan was shortlisted for the 2010 Luke Bitmead Award for his novel The Way Home. He also wrote, with co-writer Rachel Wagst ...
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