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Sean Hughes to star as Mr Perks in The Railway Children at King's Cross Theatre from 17 March

Posted: 17 February 2015
Sean Hughes to star as Mr Perks in The Railway Children at King's Cross Theatre from 17 March

Actor and comedian Sean Hughes will star as Mr Perks in the Olivier Award-winning production of Mike Kenny’s stage adaptation of E. Nesbit’s novel The Railway Children from Tuesday 17 March.

Sean Hughes started his career in the late 80’s at the Comedy Store, and his first Edinburgh show, A One Night Stand with Sean Hughes won the prestigious Perrier Comedy Award.  He subsequently won a Fringe First for his short plays, Dehydrated and Travellin' Light

As an actor, he has starred in numerous TV shows including The Last Detective and Coronation Street, appeared in Alan Parker’s film The Commitments, starred in the film adaptation of Spike Milligan’s Puckoon and performed in the West End in As You Like It with Sienna Miller.  His TV and radio credits include writing and starring in the cult favourite Sean’s Show for Channel 4, and he was made a team captain on the hit show Never Mind the Buzzcocks (BBC2).  Sean also hosted his own show on BBC Radio 6 and has written two critically acclaimed best-selling novels, The Detainees and It’s What He Would Have Wanted.

Sean returned to Edinburgh last year with his acclaimed show Penguins, which won him a prestigious Herald Angel Award, and continues his podcast Under the Radar, which was featured in iTunes ‘Best of 2014’ top 20.      

The show, which opened at the King’s Cross Theatre to critical and public acclaim on 14 January, following previews from 16 December 2014, will begin a new performance schedule from Wednesday 4 March (details below under Listings Information).                

The cast of The Railway Children includes Caroline Harker as Mother, Louise Calf as Phyllis, Clare Corbett as Mrs Perks, Jack Hardwick as Peter, Mark Hawkins as Jim/District Super, Connie Hyde as Mrs Viney, Andrew Loudon as Father/Doctor, Serena Manteghi as Bobbie, Blair Plant as Schepansky and Moray Treadwell as the Old Gentleman, plus a children’s ensemble made up of four teams of ten children aged between 9 and 15.

A purpose built 1,000-seat theatre, complete with a railway track and platforms, and with a state of the art heating system, has been specially created on the site on King’s Boulevard, behind King’s Cross Station, which has been loaned to the production for the duration of the run by Google.  The York Theatre Royal production, which is in association with the National Railway Museum, once again features a live steam locomotive and a vintage carriage, originally built in 1896.

The production at King’s Cross Theatre is in support of the Railway Children Charity that aims to help homeless and runaway children throughout the world, with £1 per ticket donated to the charity.

Directed by Damian Cruden, the Artistic Director of York Theatre Royal, with design by Joanna Scotcher, lighting by Richard G. Jones, music by Christopher Madin and sound by Craig Vear, 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 in 2008 and 2009.  The production then opened at Waterloo Station in the former Eurostar terminal in July 2010, where it again played two critically acclaimed sell-out seasons and won the 2011 Olivier Award for Best Entertainment, before opening in Toronto in 2011 in a temporary theatre built at the base of CN Tower in Roundhouse Park.

The Railway Children tells the story of Bobbie, 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, Perks, and embark on a magical journey of discovery, friendship and adventure.  But the mystery remains – where is Father, and is he ever coming back?

Edith Nesbit’s much loved classic 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 Lionel Jeffries and starring Jenny Agutter, Bernard Cribbins, Dinah Sheridan and Sally Thomsett.

The production is presented in London by Tristan Baker & Charlie Parsons for Runaway Entertainment, Oliver Royds for BOS Productions and Sue Scott Davison, in association with York Theatre Royal and the National Railway Museum.

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