Last Train to Elvet stops in York

York Theatre Royal is proud to be hosting a new creative collaboration as part of its residency at the National Railway Museum. Days after the world premiere of Last Train to Elvet at Durham BRASS Festival, the production will come to the Signal Box Theatre for two performances on Sunday 9 August. A creative collaboration between the Tredegar Town Band ensemble, Olympic composer Luke Carver Goss, renowned broadcaster and poet Ian McMillan and legendary Private Eyecartoonist Tony Husband, the production is inspired by the story of Durham’s Elvet Station.

  Ian McMillan & Luke Carver Goss credit Adrian Mealing

Shortly before closing in 1953, Durham’s Elvet Station handled a circus train full of performers and animals,Last Train to Elvet combines brass music with circus themes, a web of words and live cartooning.

Music, words and live cartooning tell the amazing (partly) true story of the circus train that was the last train to Durham Elvet station in 1953, packed with animals and clowns and acrobats. Capriciously, the train breaks down… Now what will the Circus do? Come along and find out!


said poet and Last Train to Elvet co-creator Ian McMillan.

Bard of Barnsley Ian McMillan hosts weekly hit radio show The Verb. He’s Poet-in-Residence for Barnsley FC, The Academy of Urbanism and, until recently, English National Opera. He’s a regular on BBC BreakfastPick of the WeekCoastCountryfile and Last Word. He was featured on The South Bank Show and cast away on Desert Island Discs. His rip-roaring poetry shows are legendary.



Joining him will be Olympic Composer Luke Carver Goss has written for Black Dyke Brass Band, The Sage Gateshead, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Birmingham Contemporary Music Group and Pure Gold: a 4X4 relay for the Cultural Olympiad. He records and performs with his own group, the acclaimed Carver Trio, the Balkan singer Tea Hodzic, jazz singer Tina May and storyteller Daniel Morden in the group The Devil’s Violin.

Accompanying the show will be The Tredegar Town Band –the double British Open champions – has been running since 1876, when a local brass band from the Welsh Valley town reportedly led a procession to celebrate the opening of a new mill for the Tredegar Iron and Coal Company. Following the appointment of Ian Porthouse as Musical Director in 2008, Tredegar Town Band has subsequently achieved increasingly impressive domestic and national contesting results including the unique double feat of winning the Grand Shield and the British Open Championship in 2010. Tredegar has helped to broaden the audience for brass music through a series of adventurous collaborations including recently performing with Ballet Rambert and starring in the hit feature film Pride.

Tony Husband is Cartoonist in Residence at The Lowry and ‘legendary Private Eye cartoonist’ PR Weekly. He has been awarded Strip, Gag & Sports Cartoonist of the Year no fewer than ten times by the Cartoon Arts Trust. For his depiction of British life, he won the 2005 Pont Award given in memory of the great thirties’ cartoonist. His cartoons appear regularly in The Times, Sunday Express, Golf International, The Oldie, Private Eye, The Spectator, Nursing Standard, TES, The Prescriber, Playboy and Punch. He will be drawing cartoons to explain the story as part of the show, which will then be projected onto a large screen. This will certainly be a challenge with Ian and Luke often improvising on stage and interacting with the audience.


With an award from BRASS: Pitch and in collaboration with the National Railway Museum and York Theatre Royal, Last Train to Elvet is run by Durham County Council and produced by UK Touring.

Taking place in the new Signal Box Theatre, situated in the National Railway Museum. The show will form part of York Theatre Royal’s residency at the National Railway Museum, which will also be the home to hit summer show The Railway Children.


Chief Executive of York Theatre Royal Liz Wilson said:

The Last Train to Elvet is a great addition to our summer programme at the National Railway Museum and we’re very pleased to be working with Ian, Luke and Tony.

Last Train To Elvet will take place on Sunday 9th August, with performances at 4 and 7pm. Tickets are £14 and 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