Even though it’s been running now for a few years, you can still grab tickets to The Railway Children right into 2017. The runaway hit is full of heart and a real life steam train makes for a truly arresting spectacle.
If you’re not familiar with the many film and television adaptations, The Railway Children are Roberta (Bobby) , Peter and Phyllis. When the play begins, we meet them in their 20s, looking back on an idyllic childhood. As Peter says, “We were ordinary” in an ordinary house, with a mother they adore and a father who spends most of his time working.
But a perfect life comes off the rails when Father is summoned to London under mysterious circumstances— has he been accused of something? The family uproots to the little Yorkshire town of Oakworth. Money troubles and illness loom, but the children befriend stationmaster Mr Perks and wave everyday to the trains that go by, including an Old Gentleman, who always waves back…
The space is magnificent. A custom-built 1000 seat theatre, with train tracks running through the middle, it’s enough to make you gasp. But what makes it magic is the cast: Martin Barrass as Mr Perks is beautifully natural and a totally believable friend, all three siblings are bursting with enthusiasm and Suzy Cooper makes for a moving performance as Mother. Costume and lighting are also detailed and elegant.
Writer Mike Kenny is the king of children’s theatre. You leave the show uplifted by what Kenny calls “goodness.” “The people in the story are good and do good things for their fellow human beings.” It might be the train that amazes, but it’s the characters and relationships that leave their mark.
It’s a perfect Christmas outing (or an end-of-summer treat for those going back to school) so don’t miss your chance to take the whole family to The Railway Children at King’s Cross. It’s a story that makes you want to run down the station platform, waving to everyone on the train.
To buy your tickets to The Railway Children click here.