A play on Ipswich’s Train Tea Society will be staged at Swanbank Station.
A play on Ipswich’s Train Tea Society will be staged at Swanbank Station.

Pioneer Railway backdrop for war story

AN AMBITIOUS play based on the work of Ipswich women on the homefront in the First World War will be staged at the historic Swanbank Rail Station this weekend.

The Train Tea Society is a heart-warming look at historical Ipswich and the women who served tea to returning troops during the First World War.

Staged by Flower Theatre Company, the production is being hosted by Queensland Pioneer Steam Railway and will feature a live steam train choreographed to move throughout the show.

This is Flower Theatre Company's second production after last year's sold-out season of The Mayne Effect, which was performed in Brisbane's heritage-listed Harris Terrace building.

Written by Emily Vascotto and directed by Gabriella Flowers, the Train Tea Society tells the story of Mrs J.A "Eliza" Cameron and her team of Ipswich women.

"We came across the fascinating story late last year," Vascotto said.

"We have been engrossed in uncovering as much about the Train Tea Society as possible ever since.

"Our idea for a production was submitted to Anywhere Festival - a not-for-profit organisation that is passionate about site-specific theatre - and they accepted.

"We believe site-specific work greatly enhances a production.

"It transports audiences to a period or place no theatre can ever create, however, this comes with risks.

"Staging a play at a railway station and choreographing a life-sized steam engine to move within the show was a risk, but one we had to take."

The show runs from Friday to Sunday.

To book go to anywherefest.com/train-tea.

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