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Tom's Midnight Garden at Old Rep Theatre - Review

Home > Birmingham > Theatre Reviews | Theatre | Family
by dpm (subscribe)
dpm is a Birmingham-based freelancer with experience of arts and lifestyle features.
Published December 2nd 2013
What happens when the clock strikes 13?
Tom's Midnight Garden takes children and adults into a secret world behind the garden gate.

Philippa Pearce's 1950's classic is given a new lease of life in this charming production by Birmingham Stage Company.

It premièred in Birmingham ten years ago, the production has been given a makeover since then and is now bubbling with life.

It tells the story of youngster Tom who is sent to stay with his aunt and uncle while his brother Peter recovers from measles.

While his aunt and uncle are well-meaning, Tom finds his new home decidedly dull and is desperate to be allowed outdoors to play.

So when he discovers a secret garden which appears only at night, and a new playmate Hatty, his world suddenly changes.

Tom's Midnight Garden, Birmingham Stage Company, Old Rep Theatre, Birmingham, David Tute, Tom, Caitlin Thorburn, Hatty, Philippa Pearce
David Tute as Tom and Caitlin Thorburn as Hatty in Birmingham Stage Company's production of Tom's Midnight Garden


Designed by Jacqueline Trousdale, the set takes us back and forth between these two worlds with ease as we jump from house to garden and through time.

David Tute is an enthusiastic Tom who shifts from boredom to excitement to wonder and yet succeeds in hiding all of this from his aunt and uncle.

Caitlin Thorburn plays a mischievous Hatty, a little girl who is so unloved at home that she clings onto her new friend as a gateway to her own happiness.

Kate Adams as Aunt Gwen and Tom Jude as Uncle Alan are thoroughly likeable if a little bewildered by their new guest.

Adapted by David Wood and directed by BSC actor/manager Neal Foster, the production keeps a fast pace with live music provided by the cast members.

At its heart lies the importance of friendship which can come in any shape or guise. And when the final piece of the mystery falls into place we realise that friendships can overcome time, difference and distance - a message which will appeal to children and adults alike.

Birmingham Stage Company's Tom's Midnight Garden plays Birmingham Old Rep until Jan 27. Contact 0121 245 4455 and www.birmingham-box.co.uk for tickets information.

The national tour then takes in Sheffield Lyceum (Feb 4-8), Bradford Alhambra (Feb 11-15), Canterbury Marlow (Feb 18-22), Cardiff New Theatre (Feb 25-Mar 1), Kingston Rose (Mar 4-8), Derby Theatre (Mar 11-15), Poole Lighthouse (Mar 18-22), Darlington Civic (Mar 25-29), Hackney Empire (Apr 1-5), Nottingham Theatre Royal (Apr 8-12), Coventry Belgrade (Apr 15-19), Cambridge Arts Theatre (Apr 22-26).

Full details for all venues at www.birminghamstage.com
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Why? A reworking of a classic children's novel
When: Until Jan 27
Phone: 0121 245 4455
Where: Old Rep Theatre, Birmingham
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