Both leads are well known for their television work; Lancaster has played Chris in the BBC dramas Life On Mars and Ashes To Ashes, while Harker is familiar from appearances in A Touch Of Frost, Middlemarch and Moll Flanders. Lancaster reprises the role of Mr Perks after playing the character for York Theatre Royal, where this production originated. Harker, who joins the cast to play Mother for the London run, has worked on stage at Chichester Festival Theatre, the Royal Court and the Menier Chocolate Factory.
The rest of the cast is David Baron, Nicholas Bishop, Louisa Clein, Elizabeth Keates, Steven Kynman, Roger May, Blair Plant, Amanda Prior, Sarah Quintrell, Grace Rowe, Mat Ruttle and children from Lambeth and Southwark.
E Nesbit’s famous story The Railway Children follows three children whose lives change dramatically when their father is mysteriously taken away. They move from London to a cottage in rural Yorkshire with their mother and befriend the local railway porter. But the mystery remains: where is Father and is he ever coming back?
This stage adaptation will play in a specially created auditorium in the former Eurostar terminal at Waterloo station, where the audience will be seated either side of a railway track. The production will use both the saloon carriage from the classic 1970 film adaptation as well as a period steam train brought down from the National Railway Museum in York.
The Railway Children plays from 4 July to 4 September (press night 12 July).