Railway Children steams into Wrexham

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The Railway Children written by - Mike Kenny, Director - Damian Cruden, Designer - Joanna Scotcher, Lighting - Richard G Jones, King's Cross, London, Uk, 2015, Credit: Johan Persson

 

A very special film of children’s classic, The Railway Children, is scheduled to steam into Wrexham.

The production is the screen version of the award-winning theatre show first performed at the National Railway Museum in York in 2008 before touring the world.

The run starts at the Odeon cinema at the Eagles Meadow shopping centre on Easter Monday, March 28.

The Railway Children tells the story of how the comfortable lives of three Edwardian children, Bobby, Peter and Phyllis are shattered when their father is arrested on suspicion of betraying state secrets.

The children and their mother move from London to a modest cottage near a railway in the Yorkshire countryside. New friendships, adventures and terrifying dangers await. But the mystery remains – where is father, and is he ever coming back?

The York Theatre Royal production was masterminded by writer Mike Kenny and director Damian Cruden who took E Nesbit’s 1906 novel – first published in instalments in The London Magazine – back to its Yorkshire roots.

The star of the show is the original locomotive seen in the famous film of 1970.

The original film starred Jenny Agutter, Sally Thomsett and Gary Warren as the Waterbury children, Bobbie, Phyllis and Peter, who relocate with their mother to rural Yorkshire – next to a famous railway line.

Their father, who works for the Foreign Office, has been falsely imprisoned, leaving the family financially in dire straits.

Odeon manager Andy Elvis said of Edith Nesbit’s much-loved story: “Part of The Railway Children’s popularity is its ability to appeal to a wide audience, as previous sell–out runs in York, Waterloo and Toronto have proved.

“It’s phenomenally contemporary when you read it.

“It has the wrongful arrest, the selling of state secrets. There’s a mother taking the children a long way away and not communicating with them about it.

“The children end up building relationships with people they’d normally never have met, so there’s an interesting class tension there.”

This new film of the fast-paced stage production was shot by an expert team using seven cameras, rail carts and moving platforms.

It was directed by Emmy award-winning Ross MacGibbon whose other stage-to-screen adaptations have included Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake, The Importance of Being Earnest with David Suchet and a production of Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure at the Globe Theatre.

He said the production was “steeped in nostalgia” and “filled with moments of despair, joy, kindness and hope”.

The film coming to the Odeon shows a 2015 performance of the stage production.

It is opening at 400 cinemas in the UK and Ireland on the same day.

Tickets are on sale for the Odeon at Eagles Meadow via the website: www.odeon.co.uk/films/the_railway_children/16477/