The Railway Children Theatre Review

The Railway Children Review

Kings Theatre:St Pancras

  

*Before I begin the review Id like to say we made the show with literally a minute to space before it started. All because of a trespasser on the line which delayed trains. Anyway it was absolutely amazing and I’m so glad we made it*

Having never watched the film or read the book of The Railway Children I went into the theatre literally nothing about it. Which proved a shock at on particular scene. 
Upon walking into the foyer,the bar area was set out as though it was a station refreshment stand inviting the audience into what was to come. 
The stage was so effective, set out as though it was two platforms with a train track in the middle. This acted as the main set with boxes moving up and down the platform when a scene changed. 

The story follows three siblings,two sisters Phylis(Louise Calf)and Bobbie(Serena Manteghi) and Peter(Jack Hardwick)as they retell the audience about the summer when they were the Railway Children. 
With their father sent to prison for a crime he didn’t commit life gets difficult for the family,and they move away to a town called Oakfield near a railway line,hence the name The Railway Children. 
What unfolds is a story of friendship,love and family. And if you have a little hope everything will work out right in the end. 

There was one point in the play before the interval(*spoiler* I thought Bobbie was going to get run over by a train,which left me a bit chocked up). Although I’m not sure what got me more choked up,that or the real life steam train that made its appearance. A real life steam train with a carriage and everything. Amazing! 
Special effects played a huge part within this face paced,clever and brilliant production with the use of steam and moving boxes on the stage. 
The acting was completely flawless and each character was equally as important and amazing. 

This production is one of the best I have seen and I thoroughly recommend you go and see it before it closes on September 5th. You certainly won’t regret it. 
  

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Writing Challenge #4-Rant about anything 

  Ok so I don’t rant very often. Although there are a few things I would like to address,the main one for now is the issue of experience when it comes to job opportunities. I may do a follow up with a few others another time. 

This is something that really annoyed me when I was on jobseekers a few years ago before I started uni. It has since reared its annoying head when there’s things that I want to do but don’t have the money to. 

The point being when you apply for jobs but know you won’t get it due to not having the experience. Not even that really,more the fact of no one given you the opportunity. It’s the thing where to apply for this job you need experience,but you also need someone to just say yes and give you a chance. It seems that not many people are willing to take a risk on someone all because they haven’t got the experience they need. 

How hard can it be to talk to people or handle money? Surely not that difficult. If only it was acceptable to write in a cover letter ‘I’m a quick learner. Someone please take a chance and give me a break. Please.’ 

When my mum was my age she had already had a fair few jobs. But that was because it was different then and there was a lot of jobs about. Now it seems like there are barely any,or rather vary few that don’t require experience. 

Is it so much to ask for someone to hire you based on the person you are,rather than your experience? Apparently so. It makes me so annoyed to know that myself,and a fair few others are trying but getting nowhere. 

Hopefully one day someone will give me that chance and hire me. This post probably hasn’t helped but someone please take a chance on me and say yes! 

Buzz feed said they’d hire me!  Hopefully someday. 

  

Writing Challenge #3:Birdsong Review 

  
I know i’ve skipped a day in the writing challenge but I felt like writing a review than a fanfiction. I havent written fanfiction for a few years and am a bit rusty. I’ll get around to it eventually. For now, here is day three. A review of theatre show Birdsong.

*On a side note,yesterday was my fourth time seeing the production and it just gets better with every watch. And to the cast(if you’re reading this- Thankyou for putting on such a great show night after night, and for being so lovely every time i’ve met you all at stage door. Hope to see you for the final leg in Richmond next month. Much love x).

 WHAT: Birdsong The Tour

WHERE: Touring Around The Country (www.birdsongthetour.com)

WHEN: Now until July 4th 2015

It is very rare that book adaptions work for theatre or film. But The Original Theatre Company’s production of Birdsong, based on the best selling book of the same name by Sebastian Faulks, which follows the life of Stephen Wraysford, a soldier who leads his men through the battle of the Somme in World War One in 1912 France whilst battling with his past and former life in Amiens with Isabelle, whom he had an affair in 1910 is the exception.

Having toured for the past three years to packed theatres around the country it seems more poignant now, than when it first toured, due to last year marking 100 years since the outbreak of World War 1.

On entering the darkness of the theatre, the audience are automatically transported back to the trenches of World War 1. Add to this the coldness upon walking into the theatre and the stage lit by one single torch, there is a sort of eerie feel, which adds to the play that is about to play out.

The set is simple, but effective. Two single tables sit at each end of the stage, with three boxes stacked on top of each other in the middle. Behind the stage are three crosses, which commemorate those soldiers lost. As the actors ascend onto the darkened stage, and the lights change, more of the set is revealed. A balcony to the right of stage, along with a revolving door, which throughout the play acts as the scene change between Stephen’s time in 1910 before the war with Isabelle and his time during the war in the trenches.

Although the main center point of the play focuses around Stephen(Edmund Wiseman) trying to understand why he was given a second chance at life, a main part of the play is dedicated to the sappers who dug the trenches. Most prominently Jack Firebrace, played brilliantly by ex Blue Peter presenter, Peter Duncan, who sets the tone of the play from the start indulging his fellow sappers in a sing song of the war classic ‘Hold You Hand Out Naughty Boy’ much to the surprise of new sapper, Tipper, portrayed exceptionally well by Waterloo Road’s, Max Bowden.

Then, with the sound of an air aid, the play begins!

The flashbacks from the trenches to Amiens in 1910, although fast paced are portrayed with such elegance and skill through the change of music, played beautifully by James Findlay on the violin. But possibly most efficiently with one fluid motion from Edmund Wiseman as Stephen.

Sound also plays a prominent part within the production, not only with the use of music, but also with the sound of bombs throughout. Most notably in a scene before the interval when the soldiers go over the top of the trenches to face the Germans. This scene alone is enough to leave some audience members speechless allowing a silence to fall upon the auditorium as the stage fades to black.

The sound of birds is also another sound heard a lot throughout the production, the most memorable being in the second half, and a scene between Stephen, and Isabelle’s sister, Jeanne in which she persuades Stephen to keep on fighting even though he doesn’t know what he’s fighting for.

Each character is as important as the next within this production, and the company blend together with such ease to portray their characters so well. Although all the actors stand out in their own right, it is those of Edmund Wiseman as Stephen, Peter Duncan as Jack Firebrace and Emily Bowker’s performance as Isabelle that truly steal the show.

As the final line of the play is delivered ‘we will seal what we have seen in the silence of our hearts and no words will reach us’ and the sound of the birds, it is then that the prominence of the play sinks in. This beautiful production directed effortlessly by none other than Alastair Whately, is a play, which will stay with you for quite a while afterwards.