The Permanent Way

“Members of ‘Birmingham’s critically acclaimed Stage2’ portray the passengers, politicians, executives, experts, decision makers, rail workers, survivors and bereaved in this powerful and perceptive play.”
(Taken from CrescentScene issue 9)

“In July 2009 a new production of this play will be performed by Stage2 Youth Theatre. We aim to take the words and descriptions of each of the crashes and bring them to life in a variety of striking and dynamic ways. The words of this powerful play paint pictures of the devastation caused at each of these crashes and we aim to illuminate the views and feelings of the survivors by showing their memories, through movement pieces that intersperse the text seamlesly, giving an extra dimension to the piece.

”Stage2 members have many different skills to bring to this production so we have interwoven animation, projection, music and a moving set to this show to really keep a contemporary edge on this play. This allows any audience to latch onto specific elements within the production and also offers a fantastic learning opportunity to our members and audience who might be studying theatre or the performing arts, giving them lots to write about and discuss."
(Written by Lucy Bailey, Director, in The Permanent Way programme)

Cast & Crew

Cast

A Senior Rail Executive
Assistant General Secretary
Bereaved Father
Bereaved Mother
Bereaved Widow
Big Heap
British Transport Policewoman
Campaigning Solicitor
Catweasel
Chorus
Chorus
Chorus
Chorus
Chorus
Chorus
Chorus
Chorus
Chorus
Chorus
Chorus
Chorus
Chorus
Chorus
Chorus
Chorus
Chorus
Chorus
Chorus
Chorus
Chorus
Chorus
Chorus
Chorus
Chorus
Chorus
Chorus
Dog Hole
Ensemble
Ensemble
Ensemble
Ensemble
Ensemble
Ensemble
Ensemble
Ensemble
Ensemble
Ensemble
Ensemble
Ensemble
Ensemble
Ensemble
Ensemble
Ensemble
Ensemble
Experienced Rail Engineer
High Powered Treasury Thinker
Investment Banker
Leading Entrepreneur
Lord Cullen
Managing Director of Rail Track
Passenger 1
Passenger 2
Passenger 3
Passenger 4
Passenger 5
Passenger 6
Passenger 7
Passenger 8
Passenger 9
Piemuncher
Rail Union Leader
Rocker
Rustin Hoffman
Sally
Scottish Literary Editor
Second Bereaved Mother
Senior Civil Servant
Senior Operating Executive
Squadron Leader
Stormin’ Norman
Survivors Group Founder
Sven
Vicar of Hatfield
Wendy
Young Man in Denim

Crew

Animation and Artwork
Assistant Stage Manager
Director
Flyman
Front of House Assistant
Front of House Assistant
Front of House Assistant
Front of House Assistant
Front of House Assistant
Front of House Assistant
Front of House Assistant
Front of House Assistant
Front of House Assistant
Front of House Assistant
Front of House Assistant
Front of House Assistant
Front of House Assistant
Front of House Assistant
Front of House Assistant
Front of House Assistant
Front of House Assistant
Front of House Assistant
Front of House Assistant
Front of House Leader
Front of House Leader
Front of House Manager
Head of Backstage
Lighting Designer
Lighting Operator
Print Design
Production Manager
Sound Operator
Stage Manager

Seen by

Photographs

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Play description

“In 1991 before an election they did not expect to win, the Conservative Government made a fateful decision to privatise the railways. In The Permanent Way ‘our greatest living political playwright’ [New Statesman] gathers together the first hand accounts of those most intimately involved, highlighting in particular the elevation of profit above safety that led to a succession of disasters. Funny, tragic and compelling, the play offers an extraordinary parable of British mismanagement that raises questions about the recent history of our country.”
(Taken from CrescentScene issue 9)

Observations

  1. On 1st January 2010 at 10:10 p.m., Deborah noted:

    This was an absolutely stunning production. It was the first Stage2 production I’d seen, and I didn’t know that anything about the play or Stage2 when I arrived. I was absolutely blown away by the quality of the acting, and spent most of the play on the verge of tears. Keep an eye on these actors, they’re going to go on to big things!

    I don’t know whether the line from the Managing Director of Rail Track (played by Alex Pugh), saying that after problems at Rail Track he was “parachuted into Woolworths” was an original line or not, but it was absolutely hilarious given the current climate and the context within the play!

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