Reviews from Paul's pen

Reviews from Paul's pen


The Railway Children

Review by: Paul Towers, 03 October 2017
The Railway Children by E Nesbit, adapted by Dave Simpson
A Nick Brooke Ltd presentation of an Exeter Northcott Theatre production
Curve 3 – 8th October 2017

“a story for all the family, especially children.”

E Nesbit’s classic tale is of Edwardian rural life set around a railway station in deepest darkest Yorkshire. A family of Mother and three children are forced to move there in virtual penury after her husband is unjustly imprisoned for spying. Nesbit tackles several topics in the narrative including a miscarriage of justice, the culture clash between town and country and the missing sense of community.
The recent highly successful stage adaptations, also by Northcott Theatre, set in both York and Kings Cross stations have led to this touring production.
Director Paul Jepson, with help from video and set designer Tim Bird, has created a hugely inventive set that cleverly incorporates video backdrops with traditional stage props and railway miniatures to tell a story for all the family, especially children. Hence the additional 5pm Sunday show at the end of the run at Curve.
In a departure from the film the railway porter, Perks, becomes the narrator and pushes the story along. He uses the signal levers to change the lights and scenery as we move from the station to the cottage to the track side.
A relatively small but talented cast of 13 populate this tale and fill the main stage at Curve.
E Nesbit’s world, like Enid Blyton’s, is a world where children have adventures, nearly come a cropper but it always comes out right in the end.

Full details of performances are at

First published on Western Gazette

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