Tom’s Midnight Garden

Tickets for Wednesday Evening 6.30pmPhotobutton3


Marooned without friends in his aunt and uncle’s small flat because his brother Peter has measles, Tom Long finds that just wishing very hard for something actually brings him what he wants – somewhere to play and someone to play with. Almost immediately his attention is drawn to Mrs Bartholomew’s strange grandfather clock in the communal hall. It seems to have its own ideas about time, especially after midnight, when it has the habit of striking thirteen.

Compelled to investigate Tom slips out of the back door and finds himself in a magical Victorian summer garden in full bloom and not a tiny backyard with dustbins. Here he meets and befriends Hatty and the two have a wonderful time climbing trees and hiding in special places. But something strange is happening to time in this fantastic garden because even though Tom goes to play with Hatty every night, she seems to be growing up fast. And as Hatty grows up, Tom seems to be growing
fainter. Who is real and who is a ghost? Which of them lives in the real world? There is one final adventure left to them and that involves a pair of skating boots, a secret hiding place and a journey over the frozen Fenland to Ely.

In the final touching scene the mystery of Hatty and the garden is solved and we learn that time need not separate us and generational barriers need not exist. ‘Then and now….Time No Longer’.

Philippa Pearce’s classic story, skilfully adapted by David Wood, about two lonely children finding friendship and adventure is as beautiful and satisfying now as it was when I first discovered it, nearly forty years ago. I am extremely grateful to Kate Courage for composing a score for us which captures the tone of the story so perfectly – limpid, lyrical and aching with nostalgia.
We hope you enjoy it.

Cally Smart

NODA Review

Tom’s Midnight Garden adapted by David Wood from the book by Philippa Pearce
Bradfordians Dramatic Society
Saturday 29th October 2011
Director: Cally Smart

One must start by congratulating Alex Watson in the title role as Tom, as he was very seldom off stage and for one so young to carry a show is most impressive. In fact the joy and strength of this play was to see a young cast prominent throughout. Nancy Hayday also deserves individual mention as she gave a first class performance as Young Hatty and the relationship between her and Tom was very special. A high quality of acting was evident from all members of the young cast and I congratulate director, Cally Smart, for her sympathetic touch in bringing out the very best in these young people. These youngsters were ably supported by a more mature group of experienced actors and this combination worked well and augers well for the future of the Bradfordians.

I have to say that for once, when visiting a Bradfordians production, I was not ‘blown away’ by the set. In the programme notes it indicated ‘a magical Victorian summer garden in full bloom’ but what I saw was lots of blank white walls – perhaps it was my lack of imagination! What did work very well was the transformation from communal hall to garden and back again but I would like to have seen more ‘decoration’ on those white walls.

The sound effects and original music were excellent and I congratulate Kate Courage for her achievements in this arena. With such a good infrastructure of volunteers once again the backstage work was first class. Sound and lighting both good with the transitions managed very well indeed. Costumes, wigs and make-up in keeping with the piece and stage management and props handled effectively and efficiently – well done all.

I have to say that as for the play itself, it Iacked ‘light and shade’ in my opinion. Not in the way it was performed but rather in the way it was written. I found the whole piece rather one paced, lots of ‘pleasant’ interludes like the skating scene, but with only one exception at the end when Older Hatty was exposed. Here for the first time I found my pulses racing as the identity of Older Hatty was made know. I feel the play could have done with one or two more moments like this throughout to keep one’s attention.

All in all however another production of which the Bradfordians can be very proud in their provision of good family entertainment during the February half term period – my congratulations to all concerned.

Tom’s Midnight Garden Cast List

Mrs BartholomewJo Tillion
Tom Alex Watson
Uncle Alan Tim Boughton
Aunt Gwen Karen Payne
Peter Peter Smart
Susan Astrid Bishop
Young Hatty Clara Howison
Older Hatty Nancy Hayday
Aunt Grace Mary O’Malley
Abel Simon R Green
Edgar Cameron Runyeard-Hunt
Young James Grace Callaghan
Older James Luke Rees Oliviere
Barty Sam Winter – Alsop
The Angel Mary O’Malley
Ely Cathedral Guide Kate Cooper
Sightseers, Skaters, and Voices of the House Kate Cooper, Freya Howison, Sarah Smart and members of the Company

Production Team

Director Cally Smart
Original Music Kate Courage
Set Design Phil Courage
Set Construction Earl Nuttall, George Panos, Mike Dickinson
Production Manager Karen Bishop

Stage Team

Stage Managers Ellen Bishop and Ollie Day
Assistant Stage Managers Matthew Smart, Dora Bishop, Ian Smart
Props Tempeste Hepenstall-Brown
Prompt Joy Smith
Sound & Lighting Rob Hearn, Charlotte Lawrence, Kevin Lawrence & Kate Courage

Backstage Team

Costume Hire Gloria Clarke
Wardrobe Team Gloria Clarke, Beryl Baggs, Karen Bishop, Cally Smart, Jo Johnson, Audrey Phillips, Christie Porteous assisted by Friends and Members of the Society
Wigs Peggy Snook
Chaperones Parents and Friends of the Society
Hair and Make Up Friends and Members of the Society

Front of House Team

Front of House Manager Julie Butterworth
Assisted by Anna Morten, Jerry Smith, Sue Bolden, Sheila Biles, Terry Biles, Felicity Courage, Jane Butterworth, Charlotte Howard, Susanna White, Ian Pritchard, Lynne McCaffrey, Christopher Sheppard & Debbie Heyden

Business and Publicity Team

Business Manager Frances Hopwood
Assistant Business Manager Beryl Baggs
Box Office Manager Beryl Baggs
Assisted by Friends and Members of the Society
Licences Beryl Baggs
Ticket Printing Jo Tillion
Cast Photos and Programme Ellen Bishop
Publicity Cally Smart
Poster Design Marc Bessant