Live theatre...on the Coleraine to Derry train!

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THE public is being invited to take the trip of a lifetime on the Coleraine-Derry/Lononderry train this summer, with a ticket for a live performance of ‘The Farmer and the Fisherman’.

The unique theatre experience is being supported by Translink and Foyle Port as part of the City of Culture celebrations and will run from June 3-9.

“The audience get on the regular train at Coleraine, and take part in the show using headsets to hear the narrative and music”, says Charlotte Hodkinson, of London based theatre company, 11:18, who are staging the show.

“Then live performances take place at selected sites alongside the track as they make their journey to Derry.”

“Travelling by train between Derry~Londonderry and Coleraine was described by travel writer Michael Palin as ‘one of the world’s great railway journeys’ featuring breathtaking scenery that has delighted passengers over the decades,” says Lynda Shannon, Translink Communications Manager.

“11:18 have created a unique passenger experience that will bring the local landscape to life through some captivating performances that are sure to thrill audiences.”

“With the railway line recently re-opened following major engineering work, and as the official public transport partner of the UK City of Culture, we are looking forward to contributing to the success of the UK City of Culture by supporting innovative events such as ‘The Farmer and the Fisherman’, which showcase the very best in local heritage and natural beauty,” adds Lynda.

In developing the project on the ground, 11:18 have been working closely with Foyle Port, who are also sponsoring the event. The theatre company, formed in 2011 by MA graduates from Goldsmiths College, creates its shows by working in collaboration with the local community.

“As a key part of the local landscape, Lough Foyle and its harbour have played a major role in shaping 11:18’s approach to this project,” says Charlotte.

Foyle Port Chief Executive Brian McGrath says The Farmer and the Fisherman performance is a superb way to celebrate both the past and the present of Lough Foyle, and to mark the connection between sea and rail transport into the city.

“We are delighted that this project will involve the local community and their experiences of the port and the Lough, and that these experiences can be shared with a wider audience through the show.”

The company will be based on the north coast throughout this month and May and is interested in hearing from local people who live or work along the train line - whether that is to volunteer to lend a hand, to give local knowledge or even to offer the roof of their house as a performance space.

Tickets go on sale on Tuesday, April 16. Visit www.milleniumforum.co.uk