Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Nottingham Theatre Royal

This lovely story written by Phillipa Pearce tells the tale of Tom who is sent to his aunt's home in the country, quarantined for having measles so his brother Peter doesn't catch them.

While at his aunt's he discovers a whole new world in the back garden when the Grandfather clock, owned by the owner of the flats, Mrs Bartholomew, strikes 13 at midnight. Tom finds a world inhabited by Hatty and her family and friends but only Hatty can see Tom...to start with, but is it really just a dream?

He visits the "midnight garden" every night, although Hatty tells Tom that he only comes around to see her every few months. Tom relays his nocturnal adventures back to his brother, Peter, by letter, but soon it's time for Tom to return home and it's then, on his final night, that his "sleep walking" reveals the whole truth about Hatty and the midnight encounters, and why is Mrs Bartholomew so precious about that Grandfather clock?

With the kids being on half term, this is a wonderful little play for anyone old enough to take in the storyline. There's "magic" as Tom walks through closed doors, and while the story is basically a fairy tale, there's a darker side as well which will also keep the older kids hooked.

The scenery is simplistic but does the job to transform from indoors to the garden setting, and the miming of props from the actors gives the audience a chance to use their imagination, which is no bad thing for the theatre.

"Tom's Midnight Garden" is performed by a multi talented cast from The Birmingham Stage Company, who also play instruments creating the incidental music to set the scenes.

A delightful encounter with the theatre for younger folk which can also be enjoyed by all ages and is on until Saturday 12 April 2014, and at under one and three quarter hours long, there's no way the kids can be bored!

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