FULL STEAM AHEAD: Actors Jo Turner, Helen Christinson, Demetrios Sirilas, Phillip Blackman, Katia Molino, Shenton Gregory and Greg Sheehan rehearsing Railway Wonderland.
FULL STEAM AHEAD: Actors Jo Turner, Helen Christinson, Demetrios Sirilas, Phillip Blackman, Katia Molino, Shenton Gregory and Greg Sheehan rehearsing Railway Wonderland. Marc Stapelberg

All aboard for historical tales with train station backdrop

THE stage is almost set for Norpa's production Railway Wonderland which is on track to deliver a powerful performance when the show opens next week.

Utilising the old Lismore Railway Station as a backdrop, the narrative weaves in and out of different characters' lives, covering a range of eras from post Second World War to today.

The narratives were grown and developed from local writers who submitted short stories that were performed at the 2012 Byron Bay Writers Festival.

Director Julian Louis conceived the project more than five years ago and brought it to fruition in the highly successful 2012 Railway Wonderland production.

After repeated calls for its return, Mr Louis got back on board to re-create the hit production.

"Going back into the world of the show is so exciting because the show has so much in it with the fact that we travel across time and tell stories of post World War Two and also stories of today," he said.

"And the characters are all at these moments in their lives where the station becomes a metaphor for the big moments in life where you're about to change."

Mr Louis said some of the narratives included the story of a young man trying to come out to his parents, a man trying to reconcile with his daughter, a teenage girl who wants to leave Lismore, and elderly Ana who is trying to go home to Italy for the last time.

"The whole play works on these melodramas and the station just provides the most perfect platform, or backdrop, for all those stories to be told," he said.

Since its inception, local historians, Southern Cross University researchers, Rail Corp staff, the local community, train enthusiasts and lobby groups have all contributed to the show's development.

Railway Wonderland will open on October 22 and run until November 7, except on Sundays.



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