Playgoers’ midnight magic

What's On in Louth.
What's On in Louth.

Tom’s Midnight Garden.

A review by Sue French

The inspiring 1958 novel by Philippa Pearce has been brought to life in a fabulous Production by Louth Playgoers.

The cleverly thought out performance stretches the imagination boundaries as the audience is left questioning their own judgement of time and reality.

An exquisite show for all ages.”Tom’s Midnight Garden”is the fantastical story of Tom played in a very believable and confident way by Edward Mapletoft, who is forced to stay with his Aunt (played by a very Motherly Maggie Smith) and Uncle (Geoff Stone) whilst his brother (William Mapletoft with a very clear voice) recovers from measles.

Initially disappointed, his stay becomes more interesting by the discovery of a beautiful magical garden which only appears at midnight when an old Grandfather clock strikes 13. A simple but beautiful production of an old favourite.

As usual the set is amazing, with the genius movement of the outer door so that the garden is exposed and is typical of what we have come to expect of the Riverhead set designers (well done Eric). The costumes are authentic and lend to the atmosphere that is essential to such a classic play (again thank you wardrobe ladies).

The Director Sue has chosen a good cast. Although I was seated at the back of the theatre I could hear every word.

Hattie (Charlotte Bushell) looked so much the part and comes over well as the little unhappy girl. The cousins each in turn play their parts and you can hear them all as you can the other younger members of the cast. Mrs Bartholemew is excellently played by Di Flower, a player you can always rely on, as you can Linda Goodman Powell in her part as Aunt Grace. The character Abel played by Robert Rusling is a good foile to the younger characters.

Though I was unable to stay for the whole performance, a privilege I will enjoy on Friday 12th, I enjoyed the play. The scenery costumes and voice projection are all excellent. The play is a little slow but this actually adds to the “ticking clock “ atmosphere.

Tom’s Midnight Garden runs until this Friday, December 12, at Louth’s Riverhead Theatre at 7.30pm.