Violence Is A Cliche

This morning: I write a little article for Green Wedge, wondering why today’s newspapers not only choose to misrepresent the student protests with a cliched window-smashing image, but also why they all plump for the same photograph. I name nine newspapers, but later discover there’s a tenth culprit: the newly launched “i” newspaper. Ten different publications rushing to be exactly the same as each other. Or rather, the same as Sky News.


Afternoon: To Waterloo Station with Mum, to see the stage production of The Railway Children. Manages to balance the nostalgia with touches of innovative stagecraft and Arabian Nights-style narrative dialogue.

Rather ingeniously, the show uses Waterloo’s mothballed Eurostar terminus to stage E Nesbit’s classic; last time I was here was for a Fosca trip to Paris in 2001. A real 1870s locomotive and saloon compartment are the stars; the saloon is even the same one used in the 1970 Lionel Jeffries movie. Bernard Cribbins’s part is taken by Marshall Lancaster, aka DC Chris Skelton off Life Is Mars / Ashes To Ashes. He’s rather superb – and there’s a touching photo in the lobby of he and Mr Cribbins together. Sarah Quintrell is equally spot-on in the Jenny Agutter role.

Throughout the show, Waterloo’s normal trains constantly rumble offstage, which would normally be an irritation. Instead, they enhance the show’s site-specific quality, adding to its uniqueness. Such a great idea.

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