Bishopston's Angelhair & JDJB Productions present Arnold Ridley's "The Ghost Train"

Today Bishopston Matters is pleased to introduce readers to “The Ghost Train”, an exciting production by professional Bishopston theatre company Angelhair and JDJB Productions. Angelhair and JDJB Productions always use local actors with productions which always have a Bristol and area based twist.

The Ghost Train is no exception. The play is written by renowned actor, Arnold Ridley, whose son Nicholas lives in Bath.  Arnold Ridley was a prolific playwright, as well as a highly respected actor with a career that spanned most theatrical media. However he is probably best known as “Godfrey” in television’s “Dad’s Army”.

Arnold Ridley wrote The Ghost Train in 1923, when he was a member of The Birmingham Repertory Company. He was inspired to write the play following one eerie night stuck at Mangotsfield Railway Station:

“I was courting a girl in Bath, and from time to time, when I could scrape up the train fare, I used to go down to see her, travelling by a night train on Saturday and returning from Bath at crack of dawn on Monday in time for rehearsal. Leaving New Street by a 2.30 a.m. train I was obliged to change at Mangotsfield Junction (a few miles short of Bristol) at around 4.00 a.m. and there wait for the local Bristol train which arrived at 6.30 a.m. to take me on to Bath.

“Mangotsfield Junction was just about as lonely and gloomy a dump as one could possibly imagine. There were no nearby houses, the platforms were long and the only shelter was a kind of combined waiting room and ticket office with paper peeling from the damp walls, out-of-date posters and a fireplace containing the ashes of a fire that appeared to have gone out during the days of broad guage.”

“There was rarely a member of staff on duty and, more often than not, I was the only passenger condemned to wait two and a half hours for the Bath connection. It could be cold, very dismal and just a bit eerie. If I managed to doze off on one of the backless benches, I was usually awakened by some freight train chug-chugging through or by a Bristol to Birmingham express rip-roaring past with a flash of lights and scream of whistle.”

The Ghost Train is running from 18th – 20th November at 7.30pm (doors open from 7pm) and will be £9 for a ticket (concessions £7). There will be a Matinee performance on 19th November at 3pm (doors will be open from 2.30pm) where it will be £7 for all seats.

The production will be at the Bierkeller Theatre on All Saints Street, BS1 2NA. To buy tickets please visit www.bierkellertheatre.com, phone the box office on 0117 930 4264 or email info@bierkellertheatre.com.

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