The Railway Children
This show has now closed, click here for a listing of current and future London shows
Previewed 4 July 2010 - opened 12 July 2010 - closeed 2 January 2011 at the Waterloo Station Theatre in London, returned previewed 18 June 2011 - opened 28 June 2011 - closed 8 January 2012 at the Waterloo Station Theatre in London.
A major 'site specific' theatrical staging of the classic Edith Nesbit novel The Railway Children in London at Waterloo Station in the former Eurostar terminal and featuring a real steam engine! Following a hughly successful extended season in 2010, this production returns over the summer.
The Railway Children tells the story of Bobby, Peter and Phyllis, three children whose lives change dramatically when their father is mysteriously taken away. They move from London to a cottage in rural Yorkshire with their mother where they befriend the local railway porter and embark on a magical journey of discovery, friendship and adventure. But the mystery remains - where is Father, and is he ever coming back?
Live at Waterloo Station - With A Real Steam Engine
Edith Nesbit's The Railway Children was originally serialised in The London Magazine during 1905 and was first published in book form in 1906. It has been adapted for film a number of time, although the best known version was the 1970 film directed by Lionel Jeffries which stared Jenny Agutter, Sally Thomsett and Bernard Cribbins. Now, following two sell-out and critically acclaimed seasons in 2008 and 2009 at the National Railway Museum in York, this new stage production of The Railway Children comes to London for a nine week season, coinciding with the film's 40th anniversary.
The auditorium, created especially for this production, will be built with the audience seated either side of the original railway track - on either PLATFORM ONE or PLATFORM TWO, with the action taking place both on the track and on the platforms either side. This production uses the old Gentleman's saloon carriage from the original classic film aswell as a period steam train from the National Railway Museum in York.
"The play now finally arriving on platform 2 is . . . pretty spectacular, as it turns out. York Theatre Royal's director Damian Cruden has been working towards his ambition of staging E Nesbit's classic with real steam trains, for over 10 years... [and] it proves to have been well worth the wait... Mike Kenny's new adaptation banishes the whiff of tea-time serialisations and reveals Nesbit's book as a radical work of profound, even Shavian moral purpose... The site-specific aspect of the venture is a triumph of atmospheric invention." The Guardian (2008)
"In Damian Cruden's fluid, beautiful new adaptation... the audience is ranged along a replica track with a footbridge and stationmaster's house at either end. Cruden teases us with melancholy absences - the actors are shunted down the line on wooden platforms like ghosts; flashing synchronised lights capture the frenzy of passing trains. Then he hits us with the tangible spectacle of a Victorian locomotive screeching into view. Cue applause." The Daily Telegraph (2008)
"The Railway Children does raise issues of class, justice and social welfare... Mike Kenny's intelligent script carries the full freight of the tale... The audience sits on two platforms. Between them runs a railway track that is ingeniously transformed into hearthsides and hillsides. Invisible trains rush by, lights flashing, wheels rumbling; there's a landslide, a tunnel and - gloriously - a steam locomotive. Its entrance is a coup de theatre, but it doesn't steal the show. Thanks to Damian Cruden's astute direction and the excellent performances of the ensemble, the story movingly dominates the stage." The Observer (2008)
"Mike Kenny keeps all the key moments of the story in his faithful adaptation: how the children save the speeding train by waving their petticoats, the initially disastrous birthday party for the station master Mr Perks, and the offer of asylum to a Russian emigre. Damian Cruden and Joanna Scotcher's production makes great use of the steamy environment, with piles of luggage and flat trucks trundling actors up and down the line. Best of all, we get the thrilling appearance of a steam locomotive... [a] lovely family show" The Mail on Sunday (2009)
The Railway Children in London is adapted for the stage by Mike Kenny, it is directed by Damian Cruden with designs by Jo Scotcher, lighting by Richard G. Jones, music by Christopher Madin and sound by Craig Vear.
The Railway Children in London at the Waterloo Station Theatre previewed from 18 June 2011, opened on 28 June 2011 and closed on 8 January 2012. Originally staged in London at the Waterloo Station Theatre previewed from 4 July 2010, opened on 12 July 2010 and closed on 2 January 2011. It was previously staged at the National Railway Museum in York from 17 July to 23 August 2008, returning from 29 July to 5 September 2009.