As York Theatre Royal, the National Railway Museum and Pilot Theatre get ready to open their major new community production In Fog and Falling Snow, which stars George Costigan in the role of disgraced Railway King George Hudson, co-producers Pilot Theatre have produced a free, downloadable walking tour of York which follows Hudson’s journey from draper to railway baron.
The most unique feature of the walk is that whilst some characters are fictionalised, many parts of the text are taken from original sources found at the National Railway Museum archive, directly quoting the thoughts and opinions of people from George Hudson’s time. As a result the tour not only allows people to learn more about Hudson’s influence on the city but it comes from voices straight out of the 1800s.
The idea behind the tour was to integrate the living history of George Hudson’s influence on the city with the citizens it affected. We hope that this imaginative tour that runs alongside ‘ In Fog and Falling Snow’ will be a fun and inspiring way of seeing the city from the perspective of one of its most innovative and creative periods.
Said Marcus Romer, Artistic Director of Pilot Theatre.
The walk has been designed to be listened to as you follow the route around the city centre, accompanied by the stories and sounds of the city’s railway heritage. Although no knowledge of George Hudson’s life is needed to enjoy the production, which opens on Friday, the walking tour is designed to give people a better insight into his story before watching the production. The organisations involved also hope people will continue to download the tour long after the 11 July, when the production closes, to keep the story of The Railway King alive.
Members of the community, some of whom are cast members of the production, voiced the tour, which was written and directed by Oliver O’Shea.
He said of working on the project
This is now the second project I have directed for the public streets of a city; but it is a special pleasure to create this heritage walk for my home town. York has developed an increasingly adventurous arts scene in recent years, matching the ambition of its past, by finding innovative ways to tell its stories for audiences today.
The York Theatre Royal, Pilot Theatre and National Railway Museum production In Fog and Falling Snow follows in the footsteps of the huge success of the 2012 York Mystery Plays and 2013’s Blood + Chocolate but this time takes place at the National Railway Museum after hours. Telling a pivotal story in the city’s history, audiences will be taken on a journey through the museum’s collections before being seated in the purpose built Signal Box Theatre for the second half.
The production opens on Friday 26 June and runs until Saturday 11 July in the Signal Box Theatre at theNational Railway Museum. Tickets for the production are on sale now from the York Theatre Royal Box Office, located on St Leonards Place in the De Grey Rooms, by calling 01904 623568 or online at yorktheatreroyal.co.uk