3 ISSUES FOR JUST £3 Subscribe to Lancashire Life today click here

Theatre review - Rails, Theatre by the Lake

PUBLISHED: 10:54 01 June 2018

Rails at the Theatre by the Lake in Keswick

Rails at the Theatre by the Lake in Keswick

Archant

Rails is an unashamedly hard-hitting look at life for today’s youth and their expectations for the future.

Rails at the Theatre by the Lake in KeswickRails at the Theatre by the Lake in Keswick

Complementing their main stage hilarious farce, Jeeves & Wooster, opening the summer season, Keswick’s Theatre by the Lake (TBTL) have also started with the much more serious (and world premiere) Rails in the intimate studio theatre.

The play, by Simon Longman, abounds in humour and witty commentary on modern teenage life but don’t go expecting an ‘LOL’ experience. Rails is an unashamedly hard-hitting look at life for today’s youth and their expectations for the future. At times it is grim as we’re introduced to the four main characters, their lives and their pain - and this production is not for the faint-hearted.

The story centres around Mike (played by Toby Vaughan), a 16-year-old innocent with a thing for Sarah (Lydea Perkins) who lives opposite. His older brother Ben (Oliver Mott) is angry with life working in a petrol station and he takes his frustration out on Mike. Their mother, Deb (Christine Entwisle) never says anything at all; she just stares at the TV screen. The brilliance of the production is shared equally between all four actors but in different ways: The chemistry between Mike and Sarah is electric; Ben is both frightening and deeply soulful; Deb is eerily always there yet always absent but, yet again, central to the play.

Longman brings us into the heart and soul of each character and we find that each of them feels empty ‘…like a ghost. Just on the inside…’. But if these are ghosts then they are ones who bleed; and bleed they do throughout the play quite literally, as they take us through their darkest, most fearful moments.

Inevitably with such intense subject matter, we bring our own baggage to the room. If your teenage years were happy and trouble-free, you will struggle to identify with this production. For the rest of us (perhaps majority?), we come away pondering on where our lives matched with these characters. If nothing else, we all knew a Mike, Ben or Sarah. And if you’re a parent…then the ponderings are all the deeper.

Somehow, and I really don’t know how, Simon Longman manages to pull something remarkable out of this deep-burning fire: hope. The play staves off tragedy by a hairsbreadth and feels somewhat like having come out of a storm; the dark clouds may still be in the sky but sunlight is definitely breaking through. It’s a fascinating and emotionally stirring production for those brave enough to attend.

‘Rails’ runs until Sat 27 October. For more information on the production visit theatrebythelake.com. To book, call Box Office on 017687 74411.

More from Out & About

Meet some of the devilishly successful people who make this glorious Ribble Valley town tick.

Read more
Clitheroe
Friday, September 14, 2018

The site was designated Lancashire’s first ever ‘Local Nature Reserve’ in 1968 and is also designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest.

Read more
Lytham
Wednesday, September 12, 2018

A striking sculpture attracts John Lenehan to this circular walk through some oustanding scenery.

Read more
Friday, September 7, 2018

This varied selection of walks are all within ten miles of the Arnside and Silverdale Area of Natural Beauty.

Read more
Arnside Silverdale
Monday, September 10, 2018

Making a television programme about the Lakes has re-affirmed Paul Rose’s deep affection for the area

Read more
Lake District
Friday, September 7, 2018

A succesful application could see the restoration of the Japanese Gardens and the creation of a water sports centre.

Read more

Is it a village? Is it a town? Who cares when the locals take such a pride in making this such a lovely place to visit

Read more
Thursday, August 30, 2018

A new survey method could unlock the secrets of the bog bush cricket in Lancashire following their discovery on Little Woolden Moss, Lancashire Wildlife Trust’s Ellie Sherlock joins the search.

Read more
Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Heritage venues across the region – many of them not normally open to the public – will welcome visitors this month

Read more
Tuesday, August 28, 2018

It’s officially England’s favourite flower and if you want to see some beautiful examples, follow Linda Viney to Mawdesley

Read more
Tuesday, August 21, 2018

A circular walk which skirts the Lune estuary and takes in the Lancaster Canal and the railway line.

Read more

Behind the ancient sandstone facade of Browsholme Hall is a remarkable ethos of 21st century sustainability and care for the environment.

Read more
Bowland
Thursday, August 16, 2018

Keswick really is a gem of a town – just ask anyone from jeweller Brian Fulton to mountaineering legend Sir Chris Bonington

Read more
Keswick
Tuesday, August 14, 2018

From cyclists to star-gazers, Bowland is attracting more visitors. It’s Hetty Byrne’s job to ensure they have fun without harming the environment

Read more
Bowland

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy



Subscribe or buy a mag today

Local Business Directory

Property Search