Reviewed by Lindsey Davies
Not familiar with the Liz Pichon tales of an intrepid Tom Gates, the doodle drawing dynamo, it seemed only right to take my 7-year-old son to watch this production on stage. Surely he would be able to fill me in with the bits I missed or when I was bored….
We arrived at the Liverpool Empire and collected our tickets from the Box Office, Row O seat 39 & 40, perfectly placed for a brilliant view of the brightly lit up stage with its colourful doodle with the huge negative of the words “Tom Gates” with some interesting looking people underneath. Sam, was immediately captured and couldn’t stop asking what was going to happen, whilst proudly wearing his bright yellow Dog Zombies t-shirt purchased from the foyer for a reasonable £10.
The opening scene invites us into the heart of Tom’s 5F classroom where he sits with his friends, Amy, Norman and Moany Marcus. The school achievement chart fills the backdrop with Tom’s three sad faces sitting miserably by his name. One more means he won’t be able to go on the school trip, DISASTER!! You’ve guessed it, so follows a mad cap 2 hours of Tom’s trials and tribulations at trying to win back smiley faces and lose the sad ones. Moany Marcus gets his best to thwart Tom at every step but to be honest Tom is fantastic at getting it wrong. Despite all his best efforts to do his homework early, to follow the rules and be nice to his yucky sister Delia, it just goes from bad to worse.
The show is fast, the style of the books lends itself to feeling you’re on a rollercoaster which is brilliant for keeping the young audience interested, populated with Dog Zombie band performances and hilarious fossil inputs, this show has everything for avid fans to immerse themselves into the performance. The clever moving backdrop is simple yet so effective and again brings the watcher onto the stage.
Definitely a show for young and old, I’m even tempted to read the books myself.
Rated by Sam as a 5 star show, take the kids along for laughs, singalongs and CHIPS…
Tickets cost from £13 to £21.50 (plus £1.95 transaction fee).
Tom Gates Live on Stage is at the Liverpool Empire from 17-21 April 2019, for more information or to book tickets visit www.atgtickets.com/liverpool or call the box office on 0844 8713017.
Liverpool Empire, Lime Street, Liverpool, Merseyside, L1 1JE | 0844 8713017