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New Children's Company Debuts with Mister Tom

Olivier Award winner Oliver Ford Davies will play the title role in the Children’s Touring Partnership’s inaugural show this spring - the Chichester Festival Theatre production of Michelle Magorian’s novel Goodnight Mister Tom.

The newly created company, which “seeks to tour imaginative and bold theatre of the highest quality”, with an emphasis on children’s theatre, is a producing partnership led by independent producer Fiery Angel, the Chichester Festival Theatre and a consortium of major regional theatres.

Goodnight Mister Tom, which will visit 14 venues across the country from 2 February to 14 May 2011, with a national press night at the Chichester Festival Theatre on 4 February, marks the 30th anniversary of the award-winning novel.

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.

Newly adapted by David Wood, it’s directed by Angus Jackson, with design by Robert Innes Hopkins, lighting by Tim Mitchell, sound by Gregory Clarke, music by Matthew Scott, and puppets and puppetry by Toby Olié.

Joining Oliver Ford Davies in the cast are Louise Collins, Kamran Darabi Ford, Joanne Howarth, Anne Kavanagh, Aoife McMahon, Freya Parker,  Georgina Sutton, Alan Vicary and Jonathan Warde. Laura Cubitt will be the puppeteer of Sammy the dog. The role of William Beech will be shared by Toby Prynne, Jack Butcher and Oliver Tritton Wheeler, and the role of Zach will be shared by Emilio Crescenzo, Ethan Beer and Max Longmuir.

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.”


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