E. Nesbit's classic children's book, The Railway Children, is coming back to the London stage — not to the West End, but to a purpose-built theatre in King's Cross.
In time for the show's opening in December, a 1,000-seat theatre, complete with a railway track and platforms and state of the art heating system, will be specially created on King’s Boulevard, behind King’s Cross Station. The land has been loaned to the production by Google. A 60-tonne steam locomotive and Gentleman's Carriage will be brought down from the National Railway Museum in York for the duration of the run. Casting is yet to be announced, although there's currently a chance for local children to audition for a part next weekend. Keep an eye on the Facebook page for updates.
Mike Kenny's Olivier Award-winning production, by York Theatre Royal, was originally shown at the National Railway Museum in York, and will return there from 31 July 2015. It first chugged into the capital back in 2011 when it took up residency at a disused Eurostar platform at Waterloo station for over six months, featuring the steam engine used in the 1970s film.
The show is supporting the Railway Children Charity, which aims to help homeless and runaway children throughout the world, with £1 per ticket donated to the charity.
With a running time of 2 hours and 10 minutes (with an interval), it could be said that this production is aimed as much at grown-up steam train fans as it is at mini theatre-goers and their families. Either way, we're pretty excited to see Bobbie, Peter and Phyllis's story brought to life again.
The Railway Children is at King's Cross Theatre from 16 December, and is currently booking until 1 March. Tickets are £25-£49.50, with 25% off for under 16s.