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Railway on track for a great NORPA show

Jo Turner and Helen Christinson, Demetrios Sirilas, Phillip Blackman and Katia Molino with Shenton Gregory and Greg Sheehan will all appear in this year's Norpa production Railway Wonderland. Photo Marc Stapelberg / The Northern Star
Jo Turner and Helen Christinson, Demetrios Sirilas, Phillip Blackman and Katia Molino with Shenton Gregory and Greg Sheehan will all appear in this year's Norpa production Railway Wonderland. Photo Marc Stapelberg / The Northern Star Marc Stapelberg

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.

Jo Turner and Helen Christinson, Demetrios Sirilas, Phillip Blackman and Katia Molino with Shenton Gregory and Greg Sheehan will all appear in this year's Norpa production Railway Wonderland. Photo Marc Stapelberg / The Northern Star
Jo Turner and Helen Christinson, Demetrios Sirilas, Phillip Blackman and Katia Molino with Shenton Gregory and Greg Sheehan will all appear in this year's Norpa production Railway Wonderland. Photo Marc Stapelberg / The Northern Star Marc Stapelberg

How show developed

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 II 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."

Stories of people's lives

Mr Louis said some of the narratives includes the story of a young man who's trying to come out to his parents, a man who's 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.

Jo Turner and Helen Christinson, Demetrios Sirilas, Phillip Blackman and Katia Molino with Shenton Gregory and Greg Sheehan will all appear in this year's Norpa production Railway Wonderland. Photo Marc Stapelberg / The Northern Star
Jo Turner and Helen Christinson, Demetrios Sirilas, Phillip Blackman and Katia Molino with Shenton Gregory and Greg Sheehan will all appear in this year's Norpa production Railway Wonderland. Photo Marc Stapelberg / The Northern Star Marc Stapelberg

Further information

Railway Wonderland will open at the Lismore train station on Thursday October 22 and run until November 7, except on Sundays.

Tickets cost between $22 and $49 and are available at the Lismore City Hall or online at www.norpa.org.au

Topics:  norpa railway wonderland



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