Shaun Williamson in The Railway Children at the King’s Cross Theatre
One show outside of the West End that has received a lot of attention since it opened last January is The Railway Children. The play runs at the custom-built venue of the King’s Cross Theatre next to the famous train station and has attracted countless numbers of fans of the original E Nesbit novel.
However, the production enters the spotlight once again this week as it announces a brand new Mr Perks. Shaun Williamson will take on the role, following in the footsteps of Martin Barrass and Sean Hughes, who have also played the part during its run.
The Railway Children focuses on the characters of Bobbie, Peter and Phyllis. They are children from the city who have made the move to the countryside alongside their mother. All of this has happened under strange circumstances, however, as their father recently vanished and so the struggles of adapting to this new life are made more difficult by the mysteries surrounding this incident. But then they meet the local railway porter Mr Perks and a brand new journey begins.
So a lot rides on the casting of Perks, whose presence in the story is the catalyst that turns Bobbie, Peter and Phyllis into the Railway Children. As such the producers regularly cast someone with plenty of experience to bring to the role. Shaun Williamson has accumulated this experience from a wealth of television, film and stage roles over the years and his most famous work remains that of Barry Evans in EastEnders. Audiences in the capital might also remember his work as Louis in The Ladykillers when the famous production went out on tour, plus Guys and Dolls in the West End.
Over King’s Cross Theatre can be found behind the world-famous train station in the northern part of central London. It was custom-designed to stage The Railway Children, though the recent festive season also saw it welcome In The Heights, a show that focuses on the characters of the Washington Heights community in New York. That production has since extended and remains there until April.
But audiences can still see The Railway Children at the venue as well, with Shaun Williamson taking on the role of Mr Perks from Saturday 16th January 2016.
Image credit Johan Persson