THE STATION

Set in a dilapidated railway station in the age of steam locomotives, the story involves a gang of art thieves who are on the search for a stolen masterpiece that has been hastily deposited at a remote railway station. The situation becomes further confused by the arrival of a band of musicians for a Grand Concert to be given that night. The station staff, of course, have no idea that the ‘lost property’ is about to be reclaimed!

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Many thanks

We wanted The Station to have an accordion soundtrack rather than a piano, which had featured in our last two or three shows. For this, once again we enlisted the talents of musician Jim McCormack, who wrote some great music for the show. Jim toured with us for two years during which time we invested in a digital accordion that enabled him to play ‘live’ a variety of instrument voices and sound effects. In January 2010 Jim’s role was taken over by multi-instrumentalist Julian Gaskell, who had joined us at the end of 2009 to write and perform the music for an indoor show, The Lion Tamer. Added to this, Julian also took over as musician for Cliffhanger! meaning that he had to learn and then to perform three different shows in just four months.

30th Anniversary Archive Shows

Some background info on The Station

The years touring The Station were the most intensive in the company’s history. During this time we criss-crossed Europe in the summer months performing The Station 108 times in 13 European countries while also touring Cliffhanger! – with one show in the back of the van and the other in a trailer which we towed behind us. During this time we also produced The Lion Tamer for indoor winter touring in the UK.

After the success of Cliffhanger! at the Fira de Teatre in Tàrrega, in Spain our heads were still full of silent-movie ideas. We were intrigued by the idea of replicating Harold Lloyd’s famous silent movie film stunt, hanging off the face of a clock from a great height in the film ‘Safety Last’ (1923) and also the image of the evil villain tying the heroine to a railway track in ‘Barney Oldfield’s Race For A Life’ (a 1913 Mack Sennett movie).

The cast was: Russell Hurd, JoJo Pickering and Simon Pullum – playing a total of 11 characters, with some very fast costume changes which involved jumping in and out of barrels and large travelling trunks.

“A wild, locomotive ride of energy and excitement. Visually delightful, full of screwball comedy, rollicking romance, madcap mishaps and great special effects – a real railroad romp!”
Angus MacKechnie, National Theatre

“Brave and talented, hugely entertaining, superb mime, it was non-stop acrobatic fun.”
The Western Morning News

“Superbly executed, full of slapstick, entertainment and fun. The audience LOVED it. A great show for any age.”
Mhairi Smith, Gloucester Festival

The directors were Mikey Martins, who had done such a good job with his input on revising Cliffhanger! and then also David Twomlow, with whom we had a long-standing collaboration.

For help with the set construction, we enlisted the services of Neil Robson, who had recently moved to Cornwall. Amongst other things, Neil was asked to construct a working train signal that would take the weight of a performer!

Once again, our long-standing friend and collaborator, Helen Tiley was our artist and designer, and the costumes were made by Sean Donahue.

Production Information

Year of creation 2008

Toured 2008 – 2011

Funded by Arts Council England

Residency at the Dommelhof Theatre, in Neerpelt, Belgium, May 2009.

Commissioners:
• Haverhill Town Council
• Gloucester City Council
• The National Theatre
• North Devon Festival
• Penwith District Council
• Swindon Borough Council
• Waterford Spraoi Festival
• Winchester Hat Fair

Artistic Directors Simon Pullum and JoJo Pickering

Directed by Mikey Martins and David Twomlow

Written by Simon Pullum

Produced by Simon Pullum and JoJo Pickering

Music composed by Jim McCormack

Designer Helen Tiley

Props Matthew Robins

Performers
Simon Pullum
JoJo Pickering
Russell Hurd

Live Music Played by
2008 and 2009 – Jim McCormack
2010 and 2011 – Julian Gaskell

2008 Tour
Feast! Picnic by the Lake, Manchester Xtrax Showcase, UK
North Devon Festival, UK
Swindon Summer Festival, UK
Marazion, Cornwall, UK
Haverhill Festival, UK
Winchester Hat Fair, UK
St. Ives Ayr Field Day, Cornwall, UK
Chalon dans la Rue, France
Gloucester Festival, UK
Waterford Spraoi, Ireland
The National Theatre, UK
Fira de Teatre, Tàrrega, Spain

2009
Festival of Fools, Belfast, Northern Ireland
Festival Theater op de Markt, Achel, Belgium
Festival Theater op de Markt, Overpelt, Belgium
Festival Theater op de Markt, Lommel, Belgium
Festival Theater op de Markt, Neerpelt, Belgium
Viva Cité, Sotteville Les Rouen, France
Festival Escalpades, Lavannes, France
Festival Karavaan, Heiloo, Netherlands
Unna, Germany
Festival Karavaan, Hoorn, Netherlands
Festival Karavaan, Hoogkarspel, Netherlands
Hagen, Germany
Festival FETA, Gdansk, Poland
Festival Karavaan, Wervershoof, Netherlands
Hamm, Germany
Völklingen, Germany
Bergkamen, Germany
Iserlohn, Germany
Family Funfest, Land’s End, UK
Nottingham Children’s Festival, UK
Family Funfest, Land’s End, UK
Lunchbox at the Forum, Norwich, UK
Lakes Alive Festival, Keswick, UK
Lakes Alive Festival, Workington, UK
Family Funfest, Land’s End, UK
Penlee Park, Penzance, UK
Torbay Children’s Festival, UK
Barton Upon Humber, UK
Family Funfest, Land’s End, UK
Schwerte, Germany
Troisdorf, Germany
Platform 4 Piccadilly, Manchester, UK
The Dracaena Centre, Falmouth, Cornwall

2010
The Acorn Theatre, Penzance, UK
The Dracena Centre Falmouth, UK
Fish & Chips, Sotteville Le Rouen, France
La Déferlante, La Tranche sur Mer, France
La Déferlante, St Gilles Croix de Vie, France
La Déferlante, St Jean de Monts, France
Clères, France
Vitoria Gasteiz. Spain
Le Havre, France
Bernay, France
Heppenheim, Germany
Picardie, France
Granville, France
Skegness, UK
Gloucester, UK
Picardie, France
La Déferlante, Notre Dame des Monts, France
La Déferlante, Noirmoutier, France
La Déferlante, St Brevin des Pins, France
Thonon Les Bains, France
Cusset, France
Laval, France
Caen, France
Bagnoles de L’Orne, France
Sterts Theatre, Cornwall, UK
Cergy Soit! Cergy-Pontoise, France
Open Street, Montegranaro, Italy

2011
Sibiu Festival, Sibiu, Romania
Festival Sementes, Moita, Portugal
Festival Sementes, Alcochete, Portugal
Na Prahu Festival, Ceske Budejovice, Czech Republic
Sztuka Ulicy, Warsaw, Poland
Luglio Bambini, Campi Bisenzio, Florence, Italy
Cenas na Rua, Tavira, Portugal
Budock Vean Hotel, Mawnan Smith, UK
National Theatre, London, UK
Festival Passage 11, Helsingor, Denmark
Festival Passage 11, Helsingborg, Sweden
Budock Vean Hotel, Mawnan Smith, UK
Boomfest, Weston Super Mare, UK
Micro Festival, Dortmund, Germany
ESSEXstreetdiverions, Chelmsford, UK