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It's action stations for train theatre

By Sue Austin | Welshpool | Theatre & Comedy | Published:

A summer event planned for the Welshpool Llanfair Light Railway is expected to transform the countryside of the Banwy Valley as never before.

Judith and Stuart Marvin of Montgomeryshire Community Drama Association

 While the fields will still be full of sheep, some of them might be pantomime sheep. A lost Roman legion may march on Castle Caereinion. And the appearance of invaders from space may herald a frightening future.

Special Sunday trains are to be run on the heritage railway line on July 7, during which travellers will be treated to what is thought to be Britain’s first ever ‘Theatre from the Train’.

Frequent train departures will allow travellers to view the wild goings-on along the railway’s eight-mile route and these will be matched by colourful events at the stations in Llanfair Caereinion, Castle Caereinion and Welshpool Raven Square.

Judith and Stuart Marvin of Montgomeryshire Community Drama Association, Tim Parkes, Alan Bleasdale and Lesley-Ann Bleasdale of Rebel Alliance, Cheryl Walker of British Sign Language, and Julie Ball take to the railway stage before next July’s theatre experience. Photo: C Davies

Organisers are planning for choirs, musicians and street entertainers to join a host of amateur artistes, young and old, to create a spectacle trackside. Several groups have already signed up for the event and anyone interested in joining them and putting on a show should contact the railway.

The event has the support of Welshpool Town Council and has secured sponsorship from the Welshpool-based Potter Group. 

Suggestions

Carol Davies, who is organising the event on behalf of the railway said: “It looks as though passengers on our special trains may be listening to the beautiful music of the harp one moment, and witnessing an invasion of zombies the next, anything is possible.”

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“Since the idea of Theatre from the Train was first put forward we have had some great suggestions put to us from local people, some with experience of performing and some with none at all.  

“We’ve heard from music societies, drama groups, young farmers, a ladies golf team, and many individuals with imaginative ideas.

“We are in unchartered territory, but we are open to ideas from everyone. The Welsh countryside provides a huge open-air theatre space.

“We would like to hear from anyone who has an entertaining idea, whether it’s for a solo act or a dramatic group performance.”

A meeting for anyone with an interest in taking part in Theatre From a Train will be held on Friday from 7pm at Welshpool Town Hall. 

Potential participants can also contact Penny Jones for information at penny400@outlook.com

Sue Austin

By Sue Austin
Chief Reporter

Chief reporter of the Oswestry/Mid Wales office. Keen to hear your news.

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