Goodnight Mister Tom: Review

t’s a play for all ages – the kind of Disney Pixar where the kids laugh at the cute jokes and the adults laugh at the hidden innuendos; but turn that on its head and insert a sort of melancholy, just enough for the child to comprehend and enough to cause an adult to blink up to the ceiling lights and you have Goodnight Mister Tom.

By Manchester's Finest | March 2nd '16

It’s a play for all ages – the kind of Disney Pixar where the kids laugh at the cute jokes and the adults laugh at the hidden innuendos; but turn that on its head and insert a sort of melancholy, just enough for the child to comprehend and enough to cause an adult to blink up to the ceiling lights and you have Goodnight Mister Tom.

I don’t know if it was David Woods’ version, old age or watching my 8 year old guest’s reaction but there was something about this production that at some point became too overwhelming – in the best kind of way. Everything from the set, to the script, to the actors who played it made for a perfect night out for ages from 8 – 28, and beyond

Woods’ adaptation of the children’s classic written by Michelle Magorian is nothing less than a masterpiece.

It has competition in the form of the television film production starring John Thaw, but with this ground breaking stage version comes puppetry, a modest but charming soundtrack and brilliant actors to boot.

Goodnight Mister Tom tells the story of a young boy named William who is evacuated to the countryside as Britain stands on the edge of war. Placed in the care of a reclusive old man; the two characters form an unlikely friendship that sees them rescue the other from emotional and physical turmoil.

David Troughton plays the role of Tom (Mister Tom), and carries the show throughout, as its complex protagonist.

Alex Taylor-McDowall who plays one of three ‘William’s’ is indication that you’re never too young to take the stage as is his co-star Oliver Loades who plays the role of Zach. Zach, as the bubbly best friend to William, greatly impacts on his life, in one of the most poignant storylines of the plot.

The production is full to the brim with moments of heart-warming humour mostly brought to life by puppeteer Elisa de Grey who brings Tom’s collie, Sammy to life.

This adaptation of Goodnight Mister Tom is a must see – a story that not only appeals to young and old but also proves it’s great to marvel at what the younger generation has to offer – actor or audience member.