Inside The Railway Children with Its Engineer, Director Jim McNabb and Tickets Giveaway #HolidayGiftGuide ~ Ottawa 12/05

| November 24, 2014 | 2 Comments

The Ottawa Little Theatre is set to present its 102nd production for the 2014-2015 season! It is an adaptation of Edith Nesbit’s The Railway Children. This book is a children’s classic story is set in Edwardian London. It is about the adventures of three children who are forced away from the comfort of their home to the countryside.



I had the immense pleasure to interview Jim McNabb, the director of this production of The Railway Children. He was able to give me such vivid visuals about what audiences would be in store for when they are in their seats at the Ottawa Little Theatre to watch this play that is perfect for this holiday season. Below are some of the questions I asked Jim McNabb about The Railway Children.

Me: What drew you to want to direct the Ottawa Little Theatre’s production of The Railway Children?

Jim McNabb: What drew me to want to direct this production of The Railway Children was the charming way it was written. It was an adaptation of a children’s book written in 1905, and while I was growing up, I had a fascination with railways because where I grew up, there was a daily train that passed by, and I loved watching them and being close to them as they were roaring past.
Going back to the script, it made me laugh, it made me cry at the end, and it had such a happy ending. The style of the script also drew me into wanting to be a part of this production. It is a unique style called “story theatre” where the actors narrate the story of the play while they are acting it out. Most of the time, audiences just see actors acting out the play without the narration. This play is a combination of a book and a play. I thought that this style of play would be exciting for audiences of the Ottawa Little Theatre to watch.

I also liked the illustrations within this book. They are drawings of the children and the different people that they meet, trains and the neighbors that they had when they move out to the country, and so that inspired our production. We decided to go with projecting images of black and white drawings on the set to help give a better sense of location for the play.


 Me: Were you familiar with this story before joining this production?

Jim McNabb: No, I was not familiar with this story before joining this production. I read this book after I started working in this production. When I mention that I am directing The Railway Children to people, they tell me it was their favourite book when I was growing up. After reading the script for the play, I thought that this was a great adaptation of the book because the play does not include all of the exciting episodes that the children experience during the summer that they are away from their family.

Me: If you could be any character from The Railway Children, which one would it be and why?

Jim McNabb: I could not choose between the three children who are telling this story. They are Roberta, the eldest of the children, her brother, Peter, and the youngest, Phyllis. Phyllis is really funny because she is always kind of clueless as to what is going on, yet she the one who saves the day on most occasions. Peter is assuming the ‘Man of the House’ role, and he involved in solving problems the family encounters throughout the story. Roberta is the sensible sibling who is taking on the mothering role, trying to keep the other two kids under control since their father has been taken away because he has been accused of being a spy, and their mother has to then start working as a writer to make ends meet for their family. The children are then left on their own throughout this summer, and that is why they are able to go on so many adventures in this story. I quite enjoy being the ‘Engineer’ of this production.


Me: Besides The Railway Children, which Ottawa Little Theatre production was your favourite one to work on and why?

Jim McNabb: Besides The Railway Children, my favourite production would have to be the last Ottawa Little Theatre production I worked on, which was Half Life, for which I won an award for Best Director, then it would be Agatha Christie’s The Hollow, and before that it was the Ira Levin’s mystery/thriller Dr. Cook’s Garden. Every play that I direct becomes a favourite of mine!

As I mentioned before, Jim McNabb was able to take me along with him on this production of The Railway Children through his eyes throughout this interview that I was really able to get a sense of what I was going to be watching from my seat at the Ottawa Little Theatre when I attend the show. Thank you, Jim McNabb, for this amazing adventure through this interview!

The Railway Children runs from November 25 – December 13, 2014 at the Ottawa Little Theatre (4oo King Edward Street Avenue).

Tickets are as follows:
Adults – $25
Children – $12
Seniors – $22
Family 4-Pack – $60.

For more information or to purchase tickets for The Railway Children, you can visit the Ottawa Little Theatre’s website or you can call 613-233-8948. You can also connect with the OLT on their Facebook  and Twitter @OttawaLTheatre pages.


Tickets Giveaway!




The Ottawa Little Theatre is giving away a Family 4-Pack of tickets to see The Railway Children from December 9 – 13, 2014!

The ARV of this prize is $60.

All you have to enter this contest to win this prize that would be great early gift for this holiday season!

 Giveaway ends on December 5th at 11:50pm EST and is open to Ottawa area residents.

 $Good luck to all that enter!

Rules: Open to Ottawa area residents 18 +. You have 24 hours to reply by email once you are notified as the winner. If you don’t, we will draw another entry. Prize is non-transferable. No substitution or cash equivalent of prizes is permitted. The selected winner must correctly answer a mathematical question in order to win the prize mentioned above. The Ottawa Mommy Club is not responsible for prize fulfillment and for the delivery/shipment of the prize(s) mentioned above. For our complete set of rules, please click here.


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Category: Arts/Entertainment, Family, Giveaways Archived, Kids, Living

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Comments (2)

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  1. Brenda A says:

    What an excellent family show! We would love to attend.

  2. cbrazil says:

    I’ve never heard of this show or book before, I would love the chance to go see it!

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