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Railway worker stages award-winning play at Stockport station

Press release   •   Jul 11, 2019 09:00 BST

  • Virgin Trains uses spare space at Stockport station to host ‘The Suitcase, The Beggar and The Wind’ play as part of Greater Manchester Fringe

A Virgin Trains employee is to perform an award-winning play at Stockport station, as part of Greater Manchester Fringe. 

Geoff Baker, Customer Service Assistant for Virgin Trains at Manchester Piccadilly, will take to the stage for two nights when he brings The Suitcase, The Beggar and The Wind - a play he produced with independent theatre company, Gare du Nord Theatre, back to Stockport.

Debuted two years ago at Manchester Fringe 2017, where it won the award for most innovative use of space, The Suitcase, The Beggar and The Wind is a play about dreams and love (and suitcases!) which will transport you back to the golden age of the railways.

Geoff will reprise his role for this year’s production as it returns to Stockport with new characters, performed by members of the Gare Du Nord Theatre Group.

The play will be performed in a spare space on Platform 3 at Stockport station, which is currently the venue for the Marvellous Days Out Exhibition – a display of heritage-inspired railway posters designed to encourage people to take the train for days out.

Speaking ahead of the performances, Geoff, said: “I’m looking forward to performing my production at Stockport station in the same unique space it was debuted during the Manchester Fringe in 2017. The play received a great response and was commended for its use of space, and I’m confident that with the introduction of some new characters it will be just as popular this time round.”

Karen Grimshaw, Virgin Trains Station Manager at Stockport, said: “We’re really proud to be supporting our colleague, Geoff, as he returns to Stockport with his award-winning production for Greater Manchester Fringe. We always strive to open up our stations and spaces to local communities and using this empty space at Stockport to stage a play among the sights and sounds of a living, breathing railway station is a really unique opportunity and compliments Geoff’s production perfectly.”

The two performances of The Suitcase, The Beggar and The Wind at Stockport station will take place on Thursday 11July at 8.30pm and Friday 12 July at 7.30pm. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit:


Photo credit: Elspeth Moore 

About Virgin Trains

Stagecoach and Virgin are working in partnership to operate the West Coast inter-city route under the Virgin Trains brand, revolutionising travel on one of the UK’s key rail arteries.

The network connects some of the nation’s most iconic destinations including Glasgow, Liverpool, Birmingham, Manchester and London.

Virgin Trains is committed to delivering a high speed, high frequency service, offering shorter journey times, more comfortable travel and excellent customer service. Customers consistently rate Virgin Trains ahead of other long-distance rail franchise operators in the National Rail Passenger Survey (NRPS) commissioned by industry watchdog, Transport Focus.

Virgin Trains has a proud record of challenging the status quo - from introducing tilting Pendolino trains, to a pioneering automated delay repay scheme, introducing the industry-leading onboard entertainment streaming service, BEAM, and becoming the first franchised rail operator to offer m-Tickets for all ticket types.

Virgin Trains operated the East Coast route between March 1, 2015 and June 24, 2018. In that time, we invested £75m to create a more personalised travel experience, including over £40m in the existing fleet. Customers have benefitted from 48 additional services between Edinburgh and London every week, and an extra 22 Saturday services between Leeds and London – a total of 1.74 million additional seats since May 2015.

Working together, the partnership railway of the public and private sectors has published a long-term plan, called In Partnership for Britain’s Prosperity, to change and improve Britain’s railway. The plan will secure almost £85bn of additional economic benefits to the country whilst enabling further investment and improvement, and contains four commitments which will see rail companies: strengthen our economic contribution to the country; improve customers’ satisfaction; boost the communities we serve; and, create more and better jobs in rail. For more information go to Britain Runs on Rail.

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