NORPA will bring life back to the Lismore train station when they perform their new theatre show ’Railway Wonderland’. Actors Neridah Waters and Jo Turner run through a rehearsal at the station.
NORPA will bring life back to the Lismore train station when they perform their new theatre show ’Railway Wonderland’. Actors Neridah Waters and Jo Turner run through a rehearsal at the station. Cathy Adams

Showtime at the station

NORPA artistic director Julian Louis is getting out of the theatre. Again.

As he did with last year's fantastic production of Open House, Louis is taking Norpa's latest show out of the traditional theatre setting and onto the streets.

Or, to be more precisie, the railway.

Railway Wonderland, a production that was conceived and directed by Louis, is being staged at Lismore Station, which is sadly now trainless.

In Railway Wonderland, the platform becomes a stage, and the audience take their seats where the trains once stood.

"Train stations are such evocative and romantic places where a thousand hellos and goodbyes resonate across time," says Louis.

"Railway Wonderland continues NORPA's strong tradition of creating adventurous, fun and highly entertaining works that take people out of the theatre and into the heart of our cities and towns. What more significant site than Lismore train station, a place that is steeped in the stories of our community."

The production started with a call out in 2009 for local writers to submit stories, which, along with the region's rich history of post-war migration act as inspiration points for Railway Wonderland.

The production is also informed by engagement with historians and researchers at Southern Cross University and the Richmond River Historical Society, Rail Corp staff, the general public, enthusiasts and lobby groups.

"Some of the most fascinating, beautiful material has come out of the development process," Louis says.

"That spirit of exchange, collaboration and discovery has informed the work from the very beginning. We're thrilled and deeply grateful to have involved so many people in this adventure."

Featuring a cast of five actors, two musicians and nine choir members, Railway Wonderland combines dance, theatre, live music, a choir and video projections to take the audience on a magical journey across time from the 1940s to the present day.



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