THE Signal-man is essentially a ghost story, written in 1866 by Charles Dickens and starring himself as both the supportive stranger and the narrator of the signal-man’s tragic tale.

There is speculation that a serious train crash, which he was involved in and affected him profoundly, formed the basis of his book.

This conversion for stage is a new venture for local writer, Matt Beames.

The re-draft showed off the talent of the writer to the point that it was impossible to tell that narrative hadn’t always been meant for the stage.

The show was directed by Mary Dawson, whose talent also shone through the exceptional performance of Mick Keegan (Dickens, the Signal-man, driver).

His first night performance of this wordy soliloquy was compelling and powerful. He wove a thread between the characters and captured the audience in his expressions and bearing.

The suspense and fear was built with a backdrop of sound and music, designed by David Lewington and the set (Michael Major) and lighting (Shaun Hobbs) worked especially well in the intimate venue. Rebecca Case