The ChildrenÂ's Touring Partnership presents GOODNIGHT MISTER TOM Feb 2- May 14
The newly created Children's Touring Partnership presents its inaugural show next spring: the Chichester Festival Theatre production of Michelle Magorian's stunning novel Goodnight Mister Tom in a brand new adaptation for the stage by David Wood, the UK's "National Children's Dramatist" (The Times). Oliver Ford Davies plays the title role. This UK tour will visit 14 venues across the country from 2 February to 14 May with many of the theatres staging extra matinee performances for school parties. This new production marks the 30th anniversary of the novel and is its first non-musical stage adaptation.
Set during the dark and dangerous build-up to the Second World War, Goodnight Mister Tom follows the 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. A tale of two broken souls at very different ends of the age scale, Goodnight Mister Tom celebrates the value of love and proves that friendship knows no barriers.
Goodnight Mister Tom, first published in the UK in 1981, is an enduring classic for both children and adults alike and has sold in excess of 1.2 million copies in the UK alone. As well as being a world-wide favourite, the BAFTA award-winning TV film of the book starring John Thaw attracted 14 million viewers making it one of the best loved stories of its generation. The book has won many awards including The Guardian Children's Fiction Prize in 1981, was commended for the Carnegie Medal and in 2005 was voted amongst the top 100 books in the BBC's Big Read.
The Children's Touring Partnership is a new producing partnership led by independent producer Fiery Angel, the Chichester Festival Theatre and a consortium of major regional theatres. The Partnership seeks to tour imaginative and bold theatre of the highest quality, with a particular emphasis on producing work nationwide for children aged eight years and above. The Partnership will be linking theatre to education through a variety of events, workshops and talks. With support from Arts Council England, Goodnight Mister Tom is the Partnership's first production.
Fiery Angel's Edward Snape commented on behalf of the Children's Touring Partnership: "It is exciting to see so much support for this unique venture. Whilst there has been an enormous amount of younger work available for children on stage especially for the pre-school audiences, this is the first national tour where the Arts Council, regional theatres and producers have all come together to work as a consortium in filling a much needed gap for older audiences. This is a challenging piece of drama and especially when one considers that our two leading actors will be separated in age by at least sixty years. "
Chichester Festival Theatre's Artistic Director, Jonathan Church, said: "We welcome the opportunity to be part of this great new initiative offering high quality theatre for young people. We are delighted to commission this new production directed by Chichester Associate Angus Jackson, and look forward to opening Goodnight Mister Tom at Chichester before it embarks on a national tour."
Writer Michelle Magorian was born in Hampshire. As a child she spent as much time as possible in the King's Theatre in Portsmouth and her ambition was always to go on the stage. Michelle studied drama, including some time studying mime in Paris. From there she launched into a professional acting career and spent a few years touring all over the country. Besides acting, Michelle had always enjoyed writing and she wrote Goodnight Mister Tom inspired by her mother's tales about her time as a nurse in the Second World War. Michelle's latest novel, Just Henry, won the Costa Award for children's fiction in 2008.
Adaptor David Wood wrote his first play for children in 1967 and has since written over seventy more. They are performed all over the world and include The Gingerbread Man (nine London seasons), The Owl And The Pussycat Went To See... (six London seasons, co-written with Sheila Ruskin), The Selfish Shellfish, The See-Saw Tree, Save The Human (from the story he wrote with cartoonist Tony Husband), The Ideal Gnome Expedition and The Plotters Of Cabbage Patch Corner. His stage adaptations of Roald Dahl's classic books are The BFG and The Witches (both of which played long tours and three West End seasons), The Twits, James And The Giant Peach, Danny The Champion Of The World, Fantastic Mr Fox and George's Marvellous Medicine. The award-winning Unicorn Theatre production of his adaptation of Philippa Pearce's Tom's Midnight Garden transferred to New York for a season in October 2001. David's adaptation of Judith Kerr's famous picture-book The Tiger Who Came To Tea toured the UK in 2008/9 and his adaptation of Sam McBratney's Guess How Much I Love You toured the UK in 2010. He wrote Theatre For Children: Guide To Writing, Adapting, Directing And Acting (Faber). Film screenplays include Swallows and Amazons and Back Home which won a gold award at the New York Film and TV Festival 1991. Writing for television includes the series Chips' Comic, Chish 'N' Fips and The Gingerbread Man and Tide Race which has won several international awards. He also writes children's books: with Richard Fowler he has co-created novelty books including Bedtime Story, Mole's Summer Story, Mole's Winter Story, Silly Spider, The Magic Show, Funny Bunny's Magic Show and The Toy Cupboard. In the Queen's Birthday Honours 2004, David was awarded the OBE for his services to literature and drama and in 2006 he wrote The Queen's Handbag, a play to celebrate British children's literature, performed at the Children's Party at the Palace to mark the Queen's 80th birthday, and broadcast live on BBC TV.
Oliver Ford Davies plays the title role of Tom Oakley. Oliver is a much respected and admired stage actor, having played many of theatre's leading and key supporting roles over the last three plus decades. Film audiences, however, will know him best for his role as Sio Bibble in the three Star Wars prequels: The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith. He was also recently seen on stage and on TV as Polonius in the RSC's production of Hamlet alongside David Tennant in the title role, for which he won an Olivier Award Nomination for Best Performance in a Supporting Role. In 2002 he played the title role in Jonathan Kent's production of King Lear at The Almeida Theatre and in 1993/4 he appeared in all of the David Hare Trilogy state of the nation plays, directed by Sir Richard Eyre at the Royal National Theatre: Racing Demon, Murmuring Judges and Absence of War. Most recently he appeared in The Crucible as Judge Danforth at Regent's Park Theatre. Prior to his acting career he was a doctor of philosophy at Oxford University and a history lecturer at Edinburgh University.
Director Angus Jackson is Associate Director at Chichester Festival Theatre. Previously at Chichester he directed Bingo, Wallenstein, Funny Girl, The Waltz of The Toreadors, The Father (Minerva Theatre), Carousel (Festival Theatre). Other theatre includes The Power of Yes by David Hare (Royal National Theatre Lyttelton), Promises Promises (Sheffield Crucible), The Prayer Room (Edinburgh International Festival and Birmingham Rep), Fix Up (National Theatre), Elmina's Kitchen (Royal National Theatre, tour and West End), Dealer's Choice and My Night with Reg (Birmingham Rep), Dark Yellow (Ojai), Fuddy Meers (Birmingham Rep and West End), Sexual Perversity In Chicago and The Shawl (Sheffield Crucible), Drink Dance Laugh and Lie (The Bush Theatre), The 24 Hour Plays (Old Vic and Broadway). Film credits include the short films Running for River and Old Street, as well as for BBC4 Elmina's Kitchen (BAFTA nomination Best New Director).
Evenings at 7.30 p.m. www.cft.org.uk
Matinees: Thurs 3 & Sat 5 at 2 p.m. Box Office: 01243 781 312
Tickets: £10 - £30
Tues 8 - Sat 12 February GRAND THEATRE, WOLVERHAMPTON
Evenings at 7.30 p.m. www.grandtheatre.info
Matinees: Thurs 10, Fri 11 at 1 p.m.; Sat 12 Box Office: 01902 42 92 12
at 2.30 p.m.
Tickets: £6.50 - £22.50
Tues 15 - Sat 19 February THE LOWRY, SALFORD
Evenings at 7 p.m. www.thelowry.com
Matinees: Thu 17 at 1.30 p.m.; Sat 19 at 2 p.m. Box Office: 0843 208 6000
Tickets: £10 - £18
Tues 22 - Sat 26 February Theatre Royal, Plymouth
Evenings at 7 p.m. www.theatreroyal.com
Matinees: Box Office: 01752 267 222
Wed 23 & Thurs 24 at 1 p.m.; Sat 26 at 2.30 p.m.
Tickets: £10 - £21
Tues 1 - Sat 5 March WYCOMBE SWAN, HIGH WYCOMBE
Evenings at 7 p.m. www.wycombeswan.co.uk
Matinees: Wed 2 at 1 p.m.; Sat 5 at 2.30 p.m. Box Office: 01494 512 000
Tickets: £13 - £18
Wed 9 - Sat 12 March THEATRE ROYAL NORWICH
Evenings at 7 p.m. www.theatreroyalnorwich.co.uk
Matinees: Thurs 10 at 1.30 p.m.; Sat 12 at 2.30 p.m. Box Office: 01603 63 00 00
Tickets: £5 - £16.50
Tues 15 - Sat 19 March MALVERN THEATRE
Tues 15, Wed 16 & Thurs 17 at 7 p.m.; Box Office: 01684 892 277
Fri 18 & Sat 19 at 7.30 p.m.
Wed 16 & Thu 17 at 1.30 p.m.; Sat 10 at 2.30 p.m.
Tickets: £14.50 - £22.50
Tues 29 March - Sat 2 April CIVIC THEATRE, DARLINGTON
Evenings at 7 p.m. www.darlington.gov.uk/arts
Matinees: Box Office: 01325 486 555
Wed 30 & Thurs 31 at 1.30 p.m.; Sat 2 at 2.30 p.m.
Tickets: £12.40 - £20
Tues 5 - Sat 9 April West Yorkshire Playhouse, LEEDS
Evenings at 7 p.m. www.wyp.org.uk
Matinees: Box Office: 0113 213 7700
Wed 6 & Sat 9 at 1.30 p.m.; Thurs 7 at 10.30 a.m.
Tickets: £10 - £15
Tues 12 - Sat 16 April BELGRADE THEATRE, COVENTRY
Evenings at 7 p.m. www.belgrade.co.uk
Matinees: Thurs 14, Fri 15 & Sat 16 at 2.30 p.m. Box Office: 024 7655 3055
Tickets: £6 - £13.25
Tues 19 - Sat 23 April ORCHARD THEATRE, DARTFORD
Evenings at 7 p.m. www.orchardtheatre.co.uk
Matinees: Box Office: 01322 22 0000
Wed 20 at 10 a.m.; Thurs 21 at 1 p.m.; Sat 23 at 2.30 p.m.
Tickets: £9 - £23.50
Tues 26 - Sat 30 April ROSE THEATRE, KINGSTON
Evenings at 7 p.m. www.rosetheatrekingston.org
Matinees: Box Office: 0871 230 1552
Wed 27 & Thurs 28 at 1 p.m.; Sat 30 at 2.30 p.m.
Tickets: £8 - £25
Wed 4 - Sun 8 May THEATRE ROYAL, NOTTINGHAM
Evenings at 7 p.m. www.royalcentre-nottingham.co.uk
Matinees: Box Office: 0115 989 5555
Thurs 5 at 1.30 p.m.; Fri 6 at 10 a.m.;
Sat 7 at 2.30 p.m.; Sun at 3 p.m.
Tickets: £10 - £18
Wed 11 - Sat 14 May NEW THEATRE, CARDIFF
Evenings at 7 p.m. www.newtheatrecardiff.co.uk
Matinees: Box Office: 029 2087 8889
Thurs 12 at 1.30 p.m.; Fri 13 at 10 a.m.; Sat 14 at 2.30 p.m.
Tickets: £8 - £22