Poignant wartime tale with a message of hope is coming to Rugby Theatre very soon

A poignant wartime tale about a young evacuee who discovers hope is the latest production in the schedule for Rugby Theatre’s talented performers.

The show is set to open in just a few days.
The show is set to open in just a few days.

Goodnight Mister Tom tells the story of eight-year-old Willie Beech, who is evacuated to the idyllic English countryside and finds himself living with a reclusive widower called Tom Oakley.

The show was set to run before the pandemic, but social distancing measures mean it had to be delayed.

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Show director Kevin Bright said: “When I mention Goodnight Mister Tom to anyone, it brings back warm memories of either reading the book by Michelle Magorian, or watching the film starring the late, great John Thaw.

“This is a bit of a dark tale, set in scary times with war on the doorstep, but out of that comes a message of hope that still rings true today.”

Willie and Tom find it hard to adjust to their life together at first, but they gradually develop a strong bond.

Then everything is thrown into confusion when Willie is recalled to London by his neglectful and abusive mother.

Kevin said: “This show was originally planned for Easter 2020 but, due to a certain pandemic, it had to be put on hold just four weeks before going on stage.

“The cast had put in such a lot of hard work I promised that every one of them could still have their part whenever the show took place – even if the children were bigger than some of the adults.”

Goodnight Mister Tom is now considered a modern classic, brought to life in this emotive stage adaption.

Kevin added: “The show is hard hitting at times but also has lighter moments.

“Audiences will go through a whole rollercoaster of emotions and come out the other side lifted, with a sense of hope for human kindness.”

Rugby Theatre reopened in March following the pandemic and a major refurbishment programme, with an exciting line-up of live performances and films planned for the year ahead.

Goodnight Mister Tom runs from 8-16 April, with matinee performances at weekends.

Tickets are available from the Rugby Theatre box office on 01788 541234, or www.rugbytheatre.co.uk.