One of my New Year’s Resolutions, seeing as I’m currently a Londoner, is to see 12 London shows in 12 months (for as little as possible!). So I was really excited when a friend’s parents gave me 2 tickets to see The Railway Children as they were unwell and unable to go (Get Well Soon!). Thank you so much for the tickets, though!
The show ends tomorrow and is probably fully booked until then, the theatre was certainly full last night. I took my good friend Nats with me, we had possibly the best seats in the house, right in the centre, with a fabulous view of the whole stage. I say stage, but as you can see from the picture, it’s really a platform. The show is in the old Eurostar terminal at Waterloo station and they make really good use of the space, even though it was totally weird walking through the disused foyer to get into the theatre.
The show, as expected, was totally enchanting and brilliantly performed. I loved every second of it. It was a bit like watching a tennis match at times as the performers entered and exited from various sides of the platform. Parts of the stage were wheeled in and out on the tracks by some strong looking stage hands in costume and the highlight was of course the steam engine that chugged in and out at certain times. It was still breathtaking even though it was being controlled by a diesel engine out the back so no real steam! (As my train enthusiast extraordinaire Father had warned me!)
Mark Benton, actor of good repute seen recently in ‘Waterloo Rd’ and, more famously for my S. Africa housemates, as Eddie in ‘Early Doors’, was on form as Mr Perks and was a real treat to watch. The rest of the cast were lively too and we were transported back to the days, and language, of steam and proper railways! 😉
Having seen the end of the film before I knew the highlight was to come at the end when the Father of the family returns and the oldest girl Bobby sees him emerging on the station platform through the steam of the departing train and shouts ‘My Daddy!’ as she runs to embrace him. Good job I’d packed my tissues, is all I can say…
All in all, a delightful evening in every way. I’m still convinced that ‘spiffing’ and ‘awfully good’ should still be in use in the English language, but maybe I’m just old-school… 😉