David Wood's adaptation of Philippa Pearce's 1950s children's classic Tom's Midnight Garden, which won the 2001 Barclays/TMA Award for Best Play for Children, will embark on its first major UK tour this month. The production opens on 19 November 2003 at Birmingham's Old Rep, where it continues to 31 January 2004, before visiting a dozen further venues up to 20 December 2004.

In Tom's Midnight Garden, the eponymous Tom, banished to his aunt and uncle's house in order to avoid catching measles from his brother, is not looking forward to the school holidays. But rather than being bored in a house with no other children around, he's amazed when, one night, the grandfather clock strikes 13, and he finds himself in a beautiful and mysterious garden.

This event marks the beginning of a summer Tom will never forget. He starts a journey that will take him through the boundaries of time and reality to Queen Victoria's reign and into the life of a little girl called Hatty.

In this new production, Tom and Hatty are played by Stefan Butler and Claire Cooper, who are joined in the cast by Howard Gossington, Geoff Plews, Vanessa Clarke, Margaret Robertson, Cameron Slater, Timothy Speyer and Susanna Tidy.

Tom's Midnight Garden is directed by Graeme Messer and designed by Jackie Trousedale, with lighting by Jason Taylor and music by Matthew Scott. The production, suitable for everyone aged 4 and up, comes care of Birmingham Stage Company, whose other recent children's offerings have included Charlotte's Web, The Borrowers and George's Marvellous Medicine.

Following Birmingham, Tom's Midnight Garden continues to Guildford, Dartford, Darlington, Belfast, Nottingham, Buxton, Bradford, Preston, High Wycombe, Sheffield and Cardiff, with further dates to be announced.

- by Terri Paddock