Review: The Railway Children is a “one way journey to happiness”

The Railway Children

The Railway Children - Credit: Mark Dawson Photography

Already a much loved film and novel the Railway Children has now reached its latest destination - the Norwich Theatre Royal stage.

E. Nesbit's novel, which became a classic 1970 film starring Jenny Agutter and Bernard Cribbins, is now transporting City theatre-goers back to a bygone era.

A classic coming of age tale, this Paul Jepson-directed production, retells the story of Roberta (Millie Turner) Peter (Vinay Lad) and Phyllis (Sally Geake) whose lives are turned upside down when their father (Andrew Joshi) mysteriously disappears with two strangers.

Without their father's income the family are forced to leave their affluent lives London for a starker, leaner existence in the Yorkshire countryside.

It is a charming, enchanting and ultimately heart-warming production which trumpets the strength and value of friendship and family.

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There are strong performances from Joy Brook as the mother forced to care for her children in their father's absence and from the children too.

Stewart Wright as Perks both narrates and stars in the story and masterfully helps to deliver some of its lighter moments.

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Callum Goulden as John is another who helps bring a collective smile to the audience.

Authentic props from the Edwardian era and the clever use of computer images projected onto screens are part of an innovative set which helps bring the story to life.

It is a show which takes the audience on an uplifting one-way journey to happiness.

• The Railway Children runs at the Norwich Theatre Royal until Saturday, August 5. To book tickets call the box office on (01603) 630000.

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