Idyllic world begins and ends for evacuee

Goodnight Mister Tom. Picture by Catherine Ashmore
Goodnight Mister Tom. Picture by Catherine Ashmore

See one of the most popular evacuee stories live on stage.

The Chichester Festival Theatre will bring Michelle Magorian’s modern classic, Goodnight Mister Tom, to Milton Keynes Theatre next month.

Set in the build up to the Second World War, the tale features unhappy young Londoner, William Beech, who is evacuated to the idyllic English countryside.

He builds up a remarkable and moving friendship with the elderly recluse, Tom Oakley.

All seems perfect until William is devastated to learn that his mother has summoned him back to the capital.

Michelle Magorian was inspired to write the story after hearing her mother’s tales about her time as a nurse during the war.

Published in 1981, it has been translated into 11 languages and it has won awards in the UK, America and Australia.

Goodnight Mister Tom has been adapted for the stage by David Wood, a leading writer and director of children’s plays and musicals. His other productions include The Tiger Who Came For Tea, James and the Giant Peach and Tom’s Midnight Garden.

Olivier award winner Oliver Ford Davies plays Mister Tom. He has also performed in Hamlet with the Royal Shakespeare Company, in Star Wars and in Game of Thrones.

Six talented youngsters play the roles of William and his fellow evacuee, Zach. Arthur Gledhill Franks, Jamie Goldberg and Ewan Harris alternate as William while Joseph Holgate, Thiago Los and William Price take it in turn to bring Zach to life.

Performances are from Tuesday, February 12 to Saturday, February 14.

Shows are at 7pm each evening. There are also matinees at 1pm on the Wednesday and Thursday and at 2.30pm on the Saturday.

Tickets cost from £10 to £23.50 plus a booking fee. They are available from the box office on 08448 717652 or online at