After last year’s successful young people’s summer project, The Secret Garden, the Octagon Theatre Bolton is kick-starting the Octagon’s 50th Anniversary Season in style, with a full-scale summer project production of E. Nesbit’s beloved story The Railway Children.
100 young people aged 8 to 21, and young people with additional needs aged up to 25, have started rehearsals at the Octagon, surrounded and supported by the Octagon’s Artistic team, including Artistic Director Elizabeth Newman.
They will be joined by Nicôle Lecky (The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, Octagon Theatre Bolton 2017; Sense8, Netflix), in the role of Mother, and David Birrell (Educating Rita, Talking Heads, Octagon Theatre Bolton 2016-17) who will now play the role of Father. Michael Peavoy (The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, First Words: Being Amazing, Octagon Theatre Bolton 2017; Musketeers, BBC) returns after his performance as Leon in First Words. He will be playing Perks. Robert Jackson (Stick Man, Scamp Theatre 2016; Treasure Island, Creation Theatre Company 2015), who is making his first appearance at the Octagon, will be playing Gentleman in a Top Hat.
The Railway Children tells the story of Bobby, Peter, and Phyllis, whose lives are turned upside down one night when their father leaves their family home with no explanation. Falling on hard times, they and their mother move to a cottage in the country where they soon discover new friendships and become fascinated by the nearby railway.
Based on the novel by E. Nesbit, this is a new adaptation by the award-winning writer Janys Chambers.
Commenting on the production, Janys says: “It is always a joy to work with the Octagon team on our young people’s productions. This year, we decided that Edith Nesbit’s beautiful story about family, friendship and the triumph of hope would be an amazing story to share with a whole host of young participants. Of course, the best bit about adapting any story for the stage is seeing it brought to life, so I can’t wait to see what our exciting mix of professional actors and inspiring young people will bring to it – I know this will be an enthralling production.”
This is an exciting project that will enable young people to experience the world of theatre and theatre-making.
Artistic Director Elizabeth Newman says: “Encouraging young people to get involved in theatre, whether it’s in acting, directing or in our backstage teams, is incredibly important. We want to help young people to experience a producing theatre. During the rehearsal process we work hard to ensure that every young person enjoys themselves whilst learning lots and creating a production they can be proud of. We always want our theatre to be a place where young people feel safe and happy to share their talents with us and with our audience. Our exceptional professional actors, artists and production department will be brilliant role-models for our young people to look to throughout the project.”
The Railway Children is playing at the Octagon Theatre Bolton from Thu 17 – Sat 19 August 2017. Tickets cost £6. Concessions are available.