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Jeremy Swift & Caroline Harker to lead the cast of The Railway Children at King's Cross Theatre

Approved by ATG's PR & Communications Officer, David Bradbury


Jeremy Swift will play Mr Perks and Caroline Harker will be recreating the role of Mother in the Olivier Award-winning production of Mike Kenny’s stage adaptation of E. Nesbit’s novel The Railway Children when it returns to London on 16 December 2014 in its new home, the King’s Cross Theatre.  There will be a press night on 14 January 2015 and the production is currently booking until 1 March 2015.  

Jeremy Swift can currently be seen starring as Maggie Smith’s butler, Spratt, in Downton Abbey, and he will return to the small screen in January in the new series of Foyle’s War, playing the regular role of Glenvil Harris.  Also in 2015, he will be seen in the new Wachowski siblings’ movie, Jupiter Ascending.  Jeremy’s many other television and film credits include QMS Reggie Soper in The Crimson Field, Bob Elf in the film Fred Claus, Barry in The Smoking Room, Mr Bumble in Roman Polanski’s Oliver Twist and Arthur in Gosford Park.  Jeremy’s theatre credits include Sir Wilful Witwoud in The Way of the World at Chichester, The Family Plays and Honeymoon Suite at the Royal Court, and Lawrence in Abigail’s Party at Hampstead and in the West End.

Caroline Harker was in the original cast of The Railway Children as Mother at Waterloo Station in 2010.  On screen, she was WPC Hazel Wallace in A Touch of Frost, Vicky in the BBC series Holding On, Mrs Fitzherbert in The Madness of King George and Celia Brooke in the BBC series Middlemarch.  On stage, Caroline’s recent credits include Mrs Gardiner in Pride and Prejudice at the Open Air Theatre, Regent’s Park, Kate in Tusk Tusk at the Royal Court, Mel in All Mouth at the Menier Chocolate Factory, Sarah in Entertaining Angels at Chichester and Liz Essendine in the national tour of Present Laughter.

Also in the cast will be 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, will be 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, will once again feature a live steam locomotive and a vintage carriage, originally built in 1906, the same year as E. Nesbit’s novel was published.

There will be a pop-up box office situated on the concourse at King’s Cross Station from Wednesday 12 November, open daily from 8am until the theatre has opened.  

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.