December 9 2013 Latest news:
by Stephen Moore
Thursday, June 6, 2013
A little lad got more than he bargained for when he pressed a big, tempting red button at King’s Cross station last week – thanks to an amazing flashmob performance by students at the Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts. See the video here!
The boy triggers a three-and-a-half minute transformation of the station’s iconic new departure hall into a musical theatre venue, with Network Rail workmen and train cleaners seemingly joining in with commuters and tourists in a rendition of the gospel classic This Train, covered by everyone from Peter, Paul & Mary to Bob Marley & The Wailers – and by Ruby Turner on Jools Holland’s show last year.
In fact, the whole spectacle was the brainchild of Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts, which used 160 students to pull off the stunt, including the train conductor, dressed in an old-fashioned uniform with a pocket watch and holding a golden toy train gift for the boy.
Stephen Jameson, director of performance at the academy, which is returning to its Crouch End home by refurbishing Hornsey Town Hall, said: “At Mountview we are always looking to explore new performance styles and take performance into new places. We also want to showcase the phenomenal talent of our students. We are proud of our north London roots and were inspired by the redeveloped concourse at King’s Cross.
“The choice of song was important to us. This Train is an American gospel song first recorded in 1925 and its message is still true and inspiring today.
“It’s been recorded by some incredible and diverse artists including Bob Marley & The Wailers, The Staple Singers, Peter, Paul & Mary, Randy Travis and Sister Rosetta Tharpe. This is our version.
“When we approached Network Rail with the idea of a flashmob we were delighted that they were keen on the idea and had similarly been looking for ways to showcase the new concourse. I’d like to thank them for their help throughout the process.”
Mountview student Maisey Bawden, who is the first to sing in the video as a cleaner, added: “It’s been an incredible experience. The whole of Mountview has been involved – 160 undergraduate and postgraduate actors and musical theatre students.”
She said putting it together was “like a military operation” and it had been “carefully choreographed so that it will appear from nowhere and then disappear again. A magical moment in the middle of a busy day on the station.”
For more information on the academy, see www.mountview.org.uk.