REVIEW: Railway Wonderland a first-class experience
There are so many good things to say about the 2015 production of Railway Wonderland that it's hard to decide where to start.
So let's say that every aspect of this show has been improved, while keeping the heart of this fantastic show intact.
The cast works well together and each actor has a chance to shine in their own merit: Helen Christinson and Katia Molino, Philip Blackman, Jo Turner and Demetrios Sirilas, they all dance, sing and act brilliantly.
Then there is the directing.
Norpa's artistic director Julian Louis works so hard to bring great art to the Northern Rivers than we sometimes forget how hard he also works to develop artwork that is ours and tells our stories.
Julian Louis and co-writer Janis Balodis has given the Northern Rivers a wonderful present by devising this piece.
Mr Louis has gathered the right team of professionals to make this production a success, supported by technical manager Karl Johnson and producer Marisa Snow.
There is live music by Shenzo Gregory and Greeg Sheehan, beautiful singing by Vox Caldera directed by choir master Nicholas Routley, audio visual elements by former Mullumbimby video producer Salvador Castro, great lighting by Richard Morrod.
But this piece belongs to the whole Norpa team, a group of people that has worked very hard to make this production a highlight of their 2015 season.
After watching the piece we felt like we need to hear more of those stories.
We watched the opening night of Railway Wonderland with a friend from Sydney, Joey, on his first ever visit to Lismore.
His reaction summed up our feelings about Railway Wonderland: "It made me feel like I understand what this place is about, not just its history, but the way it feels, and it's a lovely feeling."
Joey is spot on.
Railway Wonderland successfully encapsulates that lovely feeling of a balmy summer night in the Northern Rivers, chatting to a local, creating community.
Do not miss this show. Once again, people will be talking about Railway Wonderland for some years to come.
Railway Wonderland shows have sold out for this weekend. Shows next week run Monday to Saturday, with some dates sold out already. The 2015 season ends on November 7.
For details visit www.norpa.org.au or call 1300 066 772.