A classic Edwardian tale is brought alive in north Norfolk next week when an adult drama group and high school pupils join forces to stage a musical version of The Railway Children.

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Stalham Players and Stalham schoolchildren will recreate E. Nesbit’s much-loved story of three siblings whose life changes one Christmas when their father is wrongfully arrested.

The children - Roberta (Bobbie), Peter and Phyllis - and their mother move to a house near the railway where they spend a summer of adventures.

The production is a first joint venture between the players and the high school, according to director and high school teaching assistant Dan Rayner who has a background in professional theatre, having trained in drama at Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge.

The cast of 30 includes adults and children ranging from 10 to 15 years, and Mr Rayner has been busy conducting multiple rehearsals - pupils after school and adults in the evenings, with everyone coming together every other week.

“It’s been a real collaborative community effort with support from so many people and a number of professionals are giving their time and expertise for free,” said Mr Rayner, who runs performing arts sections of annual summer camps in America.

He has been working on the set with professional make-up artist Geoff Portass, whose film and TV credits include Highlander, The Krays, and Hellraiser.

The pair have been creating a full railway station and the set will also include a train, complete with smoke and lights.

The production can be seen at the school at 7.30pm on January 19,20 and 21, and January 26,27 and 28.

Tickets cost £6.50 for adults, children and concessions £4.50, including a tea or coffee and biscuits. Ice-creams and cakes will also be on sale.

They are available from Stalham Players, tel: 01692 651518; Stalham High School, 01692 580281; the Happing Shop 01692 580525, or 01692 583099.

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