‘The Railway Children’ steams into the Riverside

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Ballywillan Drama Group’s The Railway Children will be steaming into the Riverside Theatre for four special performances during the last week of March.

Fresh from their hugely successful Hairspray this January, which played to capacity audiences, this enterprising and very busy group are staging one of the first amateur productions of this award­winning play, presently being staged at King’s Cross Railway Station, London.

This 2011 Olivier Award Winner, written by Mike Kenny, based on Edith Nesbit’s famous novel, has wowed audiences in London for three seasons and Ballywillan are delighted to have secured the performing rights.

Most people will be very familiar with The Railway Children as the film, starring Jenny Agutter as Bobbie, was regularly shown on television at Christmas and other holiday times. It was emotional and heart­warming fare. A new made­for­television film, again starring Jenny Agutter, this time playing the part of Mother, wasreleased in 2000 and the story was introduced to legions of new fans.

Then, of course, along came playwright Mike Kenny with his truly superb adaptation of Nesbit’s novel. His clever, ingenious, emotional and tear­jerking telling of the famous story, in which the three children are played by adults, has now played to hundreds of thousands of people in London and York and Toronto. Now is your chance to see it.

The play stars Victoria Lagan in the lead role of Bobbie, the heroine of the piece – this is a huge role with Victoria rarely off the stage. Starring alongside her are Kellyann McKillen as Phyllis and Colin McClarty as Peter, Bobbie’s sister and brother – the Railway Children.

Maelisa Cunning plays the children’s mother and Alan McClarty, Mr Perks, the Stationmaster. Richard Mairs, Kent Bolton, Maxine McAleenon, Tom Waddell, Sabrina McKinney and Shea Eastwood complete the principal cast.

These leading players are joined onstage by eighteen other supporting actors. Brian Logan, the play’s Director and Producer, has designed the period Oakworth railway station complete with tunnel tracks and steam train!

Ballywillan Drama Group are pleased to have secured two show sponsors for the play – RLA Mortages, Coleraine and The Railway Arms, Coleraine. Their generous sponsorship will help defray thecostume hire costs.

The Railway Children runs from Wednesday 25 to Saturday 28 March. Booking is now open on 028 70 123 123 or book on­line at www.riversidetheatre.org.uk