Just A Quickie with... Londoner Sarah Quintrell, playing Bobbie for the third time in York Theatre Royal’s transfer of The Railway Children to Waterloo International Station.
Is it true that you suggested the old Eurostar terminal at Waterloo as the ideal site for The Railway Children’s London run?
“Yes! It’s quite near to where I live; it’s a great space and I pass it all the time. I was talking to Damian [Theatre Royal artistic director Damian Cruden] when he said, ‘Wouldn’t it be a great idea to take it to London?’, and I said, ‘What about the Eurostar station?’. It’s amazing to have had that conversation and for it now to be happening.
“It’s my first time on stage in London and I’m so proud to be taking a York show there, knowing that’s it’s such a different and unique show, and to be doing it now in my home town makes me even prouder.”
How does this production contrast with your shows at the National Railway Museum in 2008 and 2009?
“Obviously I miss everyone from the York cast as we’re such good friends, but working with a new cast, you re-look at Bobbie, rather than just doing what you did before.
“In terms of the space, it’s huge, like the Railway Museum was, but even bigger with a capacity of 1,000, and the dressing rooms a quarter of a mile from the stage. It’s like a boot camp walking there!
“But seeing the Stirling Single steam train arrive was really reassuring, like seeing an old friend.”
How does such a large-scale theatre space affect your performance?
“You really have to project your voice and you have to tell the story with your body as well as your voice.
“When you’re working on something that’s site-specific, it’s not like a theatre, so all your usual comforts have gone and you have to make yourself comfortable with it.
“It feels like a long journey, but you get into the rhythm.”
• The Railway Children is running in the Welcome To Yorkshire Theatre at Waterloo Station, London, until September 5. Box office: 0871 2970740.