York Theatre Royal’s stage production of E Nesbit’s 1906 novel The Railway Children is to be staged in the former Eurostar terminal at Waterloo Station this summer, playing from 4 July to 4 September (press night 12 July).
A specially created auditorium will be constructed around the disused tracks – which until November 2007 served as London’s main Eurostar terminal – with the audience seated on both sides of the track and the action taking place on the platforms and the track itself.
E Nesbit’s story follows Bobby, Peter and Phyllis, three children whose lives change dramatically when their father is mysteriously taken away. Moving with their mother from London to a cottage in rural Yorkshire, they befriend the local railway porter and embark on a journey of discovery, friendship and adventure. But the mystery remains; where is their father and is he ever coming back?
The Railway Children is being staged in London to coincide with the 40th anniversary of the popular film adaptation of Nesbit’s novel, which starred Jenny Agutter, Bernard Cribbins and Dinah Sheridan. The show will use the saloon carriage that featured in the film along with a period steam train from the National Railway Museum in York.
Mike Kenny’s stage adaptation, directed by York Theatre Royal Artistic Director Damian Cruden, was first staged at the National Railway Museum in 2008, its success leading to a return season the following year.
During its summer in London the production will donate £1 per ticket sale to the Railway Children Charity, which aims to help homeless and runaway children throughout the world.