Monday, 29 February 2016

FOUR STAR REVIEW - The Railway Children. The film of the stage version

Photo credit Anthony Robling

EDITH Nesbit's story of three children who help save a steam train from derailing and causing death and serious injury is as magical, charming and popular as it was when it was first written more than 100 years ago.
Since then the book has been adapted for film and TV most notably the 1970 film version which starred Jenny Agutter.
Now it has been adapted for the silver screen again, this time a film of the award winning stage version and which is due to be shown in cinemas on Easter Monday.
The lives of siblings Phillys, Peter and Bobbie Waterbury change dramatically one day when some mysterious men visit their father and then take him away.
Together with their mother, they are forced to pack up and leave London and head to a cottage in rural Yorkshire and it is here that their adventures begin.
Adapted by Mike Kenny, the play was first produced in 2008 by York Theatre Royal at the National Railway Museum in York.
It enjoyed two sell-out seasons before transferring to London, first at Waterloo Station and latterly at King's Cross.
However, it was at the Railway Museum that it was filmed and it is this production that will grace cinema screens across the country.
The staging is genius with a train track and seating incorporated into the museum. The track, which runs through the audience, provides for a moving set as well as a chance for the star of the show, the original locomotive from the much-loved original 1970 film, to make its appearance.
There is a bridge at one end and there are plenty of smoke and sound effects throughout.
The acting is superb particularly from the three children - Beth Lilly as Phillys, Rozzi Nicholson-Lailey as Bobbie and Izaak Cainer as Peter - and Martin Barrass as Mr Perks.
But ultimately it is the staging and the train which steams into the stage that are the real stars.
And seeing it brought to life for the big screen is a real treat, and perfect fare for all the family this Easter.

The film is playing on 400 screens nationally on Easter Monday including ODEON Streatham, ODEON Surrey Quays, Clapham Picturehouse, East Dulwich Picturehouse, Picturehouse Greenwich and ODEON Greenwich. Visit for full listings.

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