“One of the great plays of the year.”


Michael Cathcart, ABC Radio National Books & Arts Daily

About

Railway stations are places of the heart, where life’s journeys begin and end, where a thousand hellos and goodbyes travel across time.



Four strangers take shelter in the fluorescent glare of a railway waiting room. They are waiting for a bus as the trains don’t run any more. Their reasons for leaving are the stuff of melodramas, love, fame, to just run away, to go home one more time… The distant sound of a train whistle announces the arrival of a mysterious old woman who has come to catch the train. Is she an apparition, an angel, or mad or all three? The bus is delayed and the strangers are swept up into the old woman’s tale of arrival as a young girl in a strange land and her search for belonging in a country town.



Take your seat under the stars as Railway Wonderland brings a dis-used railway station back to life. Immerse yourself in a dreamy wonderland of strange encounters, wild stories, comedy, romance and song.

Performances

Railway Wonderland was first performed at Lismore’s dis-used train station in 2012 for a season of 6 performances. NORPA re-staged it in 2015 for 15 performances. Both seasons sold out.

“This is one of the best shows I have seen in years (and keep in mind I just got back from New York)… the show was exceptional, at once playful and daring. This is festival material.”




Caleb Lewis, Playwright

Cast and creative team

Conceived and Directed by Julian Louis
Devisor/Writer Janis Balodis
Devisor/Performers Jo Turner, Helen Christinson, Demetrios Sirilas, Philip Blackman, Katia Molino
Producer Marisa Snow
Choreographer Emma Saunders
Composer/Musical Director Michael Askill (2012)
Choir Master Peter Lehner (2012), Nicholas Routley (2015)
Featuring the choir Vox Caldera (2015) | Anita Kuhn, Alanpaillas Paillas, Chris Harris, David Ellemor-Collins, Heather Ellemor-Collins, Deirdre Paillas, Geof Webb, Jude Magee, Ken Wallace, Laura Hymers, Louise Litchfield, Nicky Thomson, Rachel Jenner, Rhys Daniell, Traise Karen, Sandy Cochrane, David Williamson and Hanne Pit
Costumes William Kutana
Key Musician Shenzo Gregory
Percussionist Greg Sheehan
AV Design and Video documentation Salvador Castro
Lighting Designer Richard Morrod
Technical Manager Karl Johnson

Watch

Highlights from our 2015 Season


Timelapse from 2015 Season

Timelapse by Evan Malcolm

The Making of Railway Wonderland


Reviews and quotes

“One of the great plays of the year.”

Michael Cathcart, ABC Radio National Books & Arts Daily
Listen to full interview with director Julian Louis and actors Katia Molino & Jo Turner

“The best site-specific theatre piece I have ever seen.”

Stage Whispers
Read the full review here

“It took the audience on an emotional ride that had it laughing, clapping, and, sometimes, seriously silent.”

Australian Stage
Read the full review here

“The strength of Railway Wonderland lies in its agile presentation and the story’s humour and heart and soul.”
Arts Hub
Read the full review here

Railway Wonderland has all the hallmarks of an Australian classic.”
Verandah Magazine
Read the full review here

“People will be talking about Railway Wonderland for years to come…”
Northern Star
Read the full review here

“Railway Wonderland is a magnificent piece of theatre, right up there with the work of Punchdrunk, Frantic Assembly and Lepage by our very own Julian Louis”
Suzie Miller, Playwright



“This is one of the best shows I have seen in years (and keep in mind I just got back from New York)… the show was exceptional, at once playful and daring. This is festival material.”
Caleb Lewis, Playwright



“A sublime work of theatre. Funny, joyous, moving, heartfelt, passionate. Beautiful story, spanning multiple eras, weaving song, intricate physical performance, clever vision, and excellent performances all round.”
Chris Bendall, Critical Stages

“…what an amazing production! I am of Italian heritage and it touched a few heart strings. I also live in South Lismore not far from the railway station and it brought back memories of catching the train.”
Vicky McMahon, audience member

“Third time watching and loving the creativeness of Railway Wonderland. The magic just gets better. And how great to enjoy Thai food and Bubbles and ambience before the show.”
Josephine Saunders, audience member

#Railwaywonderland2015

dig a little deeper into the wonderland

Take a look at the costume design here, and read an interview with costume designer William Kutana.

Read stories of Lismore’s train station and see some beautiful early images!

Read about the creative development of Railway Wonderland.

Photos | Kate Holmes