CHARD Local Kids Society for Music and Drama (CLOKS), has, to date, presented musical productions specifically adapted for children’s shows.

This year however, Director/Producer/Choreographer Maria Farey and Musical Director Jemima Moran decided to push themselves and their young cast just that little bit further with the challenge of presenting an adult musical version of E. Nesbitt’s much-loved story The Railway Children.

The three children of the title, beautifully performed by Hannah Bulgin (Bobbie), Kris Hedditch (Peter) and Lily Farey (Phyllis), really carried the show.

All three were engaging, animated and totally focussed and Bulgin’s solo Nothing to Fear was tender and moving. Livvie Coles was tremendous as Mother, she had a matronly maturity which gave her performance the weight and gravitas it required, and she sang ‘Til the Day with real passion and power.

Yeovil Express:

Josh Richards played Perks the Station Master (and sometime narrator) with authority and humour; it is never easy to open a show with a song and be the one to set the tone but he accomplished this with ease.

This was overall a fantastic ensemble work but mention must also be made of Luke Lifton’s Szczepansky who sounded as if he spoke Russian like a native and sang a lovely Lullaby, Ryan Healy lent really solid, reliability to the role of The Old Gentleman and Issy Swarbrick was impressive as The Engine Driver (among other roles).

Elsewhere Rachael Davis and Erin Bond were always lively in their various character parts and Sebastian Horne was a convincing Jim, falling in love with Bobbie.

A huge congratulations to Jemima Moran for the unenviable task of interpreting and teaching the complex musical score to this very young cast. Musically the show was a remarkable achievement and the entire cast is to be saluted for the hard work and dedication required to get to grips so successfully with the intricacies of the music.

Maria Farey manages every year to pull off another triumph, another incredible accomplishment which illustrates what talent there is out there in our young people. This year is no exception.

Yeovil Express:

Make sure you book your tickets early for next year’s show, many this year were disappointed at the ‘sold out’ signs for every performance.

And finally, there is no Railway Children without a train – Jonathan Farey created the most stunning visual effect with his life-size train emerging through the tunnel to stop just in front of the children waving their red bloomers. Fantastic!

Review by Helen Rose.

CLOKS also have a Christmas Show in Combe St. Nicholas Church on December 5 and 6.