Mark Benton will join the London cast The Railway Children on 3 December to play Perks for the final six weeks of Damian Cruden’s Olivier award-winning production at Waterloo Station

Since it’s opening Cruden’s production has now been seen by almost 400,000 people.  The final London performance, in the specially created 1000 seat space in the old Eurostar Terminal at Waterloo Station, will be on 8 January 2012.

Mark Benton can currently be seen playing maths teacher Daniel Chalky in BBC1’s Waterloo Road and has recently guested as Geoff Blackburn in Inspector George Gently.  Next month he can be seen as famer Frederick Finch in BBC1’s Land Girls.  His more recent stage credits include Toad in The Wind in the Willows for Northern Stage, A Day in the Life of Joe Egg for Nottingham Playhouse, Comedians for the Lyric Hammersmith, Kosher Harry for the Royal Court and The Front Page at the Donmar Warehouse.   His other television credits include Hustle, Silent Witness, Doctor Who and The Fixer.  His film credits include Beyond The Pole, Imaginarium of Dr Parnassus, Breaking and Entering, Redemption Road, and Mike Leigh’s Career Girls and Topsy Turvy.

Featuring the Great Northern Railway No 1, Stirling Single from the National Railway Museum, York, and the Old Gentleman’s Saloon that was used in the original 1970 feature film, Mike Kenny’s adaptation of The Railway Children was first produced by York Theatre Royal at the National Railway Museum, York, where it enjoyed two sell-out and critically acclaimed seasons.   With audiences sitting either side of a real railway track, The Railway Children has award-winning designs by Joanna Scotcher, lighting by Richard G. Jones, music by Christopher Madin and sound by Craig Vear. 

The Railway Children tells the story of Bobby, Peter and Phyllis, three children whose lives change dramatically when their father is mysteriously taken away.  They move from London to a cottage in rural Yorkshire with their mother where they befriend the local railway porter and embark on a magical journey of discovery, friendship and adventure. But the mystery remains – where is Father, and is he ever coming back?

The cast, from 3 December 2011 comprises Mark Benton who plays Mr Perks, Pandora Clifford as Mother, David Baron as the Old Gentleman, Mark Holgate as Jim, Elizabeth Keats as Mrs Perks, Tim Lewis as Peter, Stephen Beckett as the Father and Doctor, Amy Noble as Roberta, Blair Plant as Shepansky, Amanda Prior as Mrs Viney and Cook and Grace Rowe as Phyllis. They are joined by ensemble members Francesca Ellis, Felicity Houlbrooke and James Rigby.  Until 2 December 2011 Craig Warnock will continue to play Mr Perks.

E. Nesbit’s much loved children’s book, The Railway Children, was first published in 1906 and has subsequently been adapted for the stage and screen, most famously in the 1970 film version directed by the late Lionel Jeffries and starring Jenny Agutter, Bernard Cribbins, Dinah Sheridan and Sally Thomsett.

The Railway Children, a York Theatre Royal production, is presented in London in association with the National Rail Museum by Jenny King and Matthew Gale for The Touring Consortium (Railway Children), Tristan Baker, Oliver Royds, PW Productions and Sue Scott Davison. The production has been made possible with the support of BRB (Residuary) Ltd, Arts Council England, Welcome to Yorkshire and Network Rail. 

Book The Railway Children tickets online now.

[posted 31/10/2011]


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