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Much-loved children's classic brought gloriously to life.

Posted: 15 February 2013
Much-loved children's classic brought gloriously to life.

The critically acclaimed production of Michelle Magorian’s wonderfully uplifting tale, Goodnight Mister Tom comes to the New Victoria Theatre, Woking from Tue 5 - Sat 9 March.

The Chichester Festival Theatre production brings this modern classic gloriously to life in a stage adaptation by David Wood, with Olivier Award-winning actor Oliver Ford Davies starring as Mister Tom.

Set during the dark and dangerous build up to the Second World War, Goodnight Mister Tom follows sad William Beech, who is evacuated to the idyllic English countryside and builds a remarkable and moving friendship with the elderly recluse Tom Oakley. All seems perfect until William is devastatingly summoned by his mother back to London.

Six talented young performers have been cast in the roles of Zach and William. Arthur Gledhill Franks, Jamie Goldberg and Ewan Harris will alternate the role of William. Joseph Holgate, Thiago Los and William Price will alternate as Zach.

Oliver Ford Davies will reprise his role as Mister Tom. One of the best known and most highly respected actors, having appeared in numerous stage, television and film productions. He recently appeared in the film The Deep Blue Sea alongside Rachel Weisz, and has appeared in three of the Star Wars films. On television, as well as appearing in popular favourites like Rosemary and Thyme, Midsomer Murders and Spooks, he also played the role of Maester Cressen in the award-winning HBO series Games of Thrones.

On stage he has appeared numerous times at the National Theatre and in 26 productions for the RSC. He has been nominated for Olivier Awards three times, winning The Best Actor Award for his role in Racing Demon at the National Theatre.

Author Michelle Magorian was inspired to write Goodnight Mister Tom after hearing her mother’s tales about her time as a nurse in the war.  Published in 1981, it has been translated into 11 languages and won awards in the UK, America and Australia.  Her latest novel Just Henry won the Costa Award for children’s fiction in 2008 and in 2011 was adapted into a TV film starring Sheila Hancock.

Goodnight Mister Tom is adapted for the stage by David Wood OBE, the country’s leading writer and director of plays and musicals for children.  David’s other productions in the UK include his Olivier nominated production of The Tiger Who Came For Tea (currently playing in the West End and to tour in November), James and the Giant Peach (at The Old Rep Theatre, Birmingham from November), Tom’s Midnight Garden (at The Bloomsbury Theatre, London in December) and George’s Marvellous Medicine (at The Corn Exchange, Cambridge in December). 

The production is directed by Angus Jackson, who is an associate director at Chichester Festival Theatre. His production of The Browning Version recently won great critical acclaim in its double bill with South Downs in the West End. His other productions for Chichester Festival Theatre include Bingo which starred Patrick Stewart, Wallenstein, Funny Girl, Carousel and most recently Canvas.  He has worked at the National Theatre (The Power of Yes and Elmina’s Kitchen) and Sheffield Crucible (Promises Promises, Sexual Perversity in Chicago and The Shawl). 

Winner of The Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize and commended for the Carnegie Medal, this brand new production marks the 30th Anniversary of the publication of the novel. Now a world-wide literary favourite and BAFTA award-winning TV film (starring John Thaw), it continues to inspire audiences and bring generations together.

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