Yesterday I went to see The Railway Children at the Welcome to Yorkshire Theatre, London Waterloo. Which sounds slightly bizarre, but they’ve actually converted one of the old Eurostar platforms into a theatre.
We weren’t sure what to expect, especially when the actors started talking to the audience and asking us to do a Mexican wave. But as soon as the play started we both became caught up with the lives of Bobbie, Peter and Phyllis.
One of the highlights of the play is when a real steam train pulls into the middle of the stage. That’s pretty special. I’d forgotten how moving the story is, though, and actually it’s surprisingly modern, particularly as it deals with a family living in reduced circumstances and learning they can have ‘butter or jam, but not both’.
We quickly became caught up in the drama, including the landslide and Mother’s decision to give shelter to a Russian refugee. I even cried a few times, although there are plenty of laughs too. All of the cast are brilliant and there are a few familiar faces, including the fantastic Marshall Lancaster (Chris in Ashes to Ashes) as Mr Perks.
I would definitely recommend The Railway Children for a family outing – it’s the kind of theatrical experience that stays with you long after you’ve left the auditorium. Magical.
*The Railway Children has been made possible with the support of Welcome To Yorkshire (and it certainly made me want to go there). It runs until 4 September and is selling out fast. Lastminute.com also has some ticket availability.
written by Liz Jarvis