8-12 March 2016
Reviewed by Juliana Headley
“Goodnight Mister Tom” is a children’s novel by an English author Michelle Magorian, originally published in 1981. It took a good few years to write the story and it had been inspired by the stories Ms Magorian’s mum, a nurse during the Second World War, and her memories and perception of the war. It took another 30 years, before the book was adapted into a stage play.
“Goodnight Mister Tom” tells a story of a 9 year old boy William Beech, who is evacuated from London into Devon countryside amongst other children to save them from the cruelty of war. William, after a request from his ever so strict and abusive mother, finds himself in Mr Oakley’s house. Mr Oakley has been living alone for the last 40 years after his wife and his child passed away. It takes almost no time for the two lonely hearts to grow fond of each other, despite Mr Oakley’s quite a reclusive way of life, until, suddenly, a letter from William’s mother comes asking him to return to London as she is very ill.
One of the distinct features of the play is that it is suited for any age. Unlike the majority of any other plays, where the parts of young children are given to older actors, in “Goodnight Mister Tom” the audience enjoys raw talents of the 11 year olds. And they are superb! I was altogether mesmerized by the confidence and the mastery of these young talents.
Also, I just cannot overlook the simple yet amazing puppets in the play. Especially the dog and the squirrel! But mostly the dog! Him and the boys will be my lifelong memories of this extraordinary play.
If you ever get a chance to see this touching, sad, yet very inspiring play, it will stay in your heart for the rest of your life! If I could give 7 out of 5 stars, I would, but just now, I advise you to look up if there is an available ticket and treat yourself to an unforgettable night!
Tickets cost from £14.40 to £32.90 (plus £2.85 transaction fee).
Goodnight Mister Tom is at the Theatre Royal in Glasgow until 12 March 2016. For more information or to book tickets click here or call the box office on 0844 871 7647.
Theatre Royal, 282 Hope Street, Glasgow, G2 3QA | 0844 871 7647