REVIEW: Viva Soham deliver a spellbinding performance in ‘Goodnight Mister Tom’
PUBLISHED: 12:31 29 October 2018
If ever there was a performance that demonstrated beyond a doubt that live theatre outshines films, it was this one.
Throughout the performance we were kept spellbound. We were there with the characters, living their parts.
The acting was so good that we were never divorced from the tensions and emotions of the scenes being played out before us.
Mr. Tom, played by Vaughan Moll, was the epitome of those cantankerous old men that we know so well: all thunder and bluster on the outside, all heart on the inside.
William (Oscar Vaughan) was the poor child so poorly done by. We felt his pain and wonder as he was slowly drawn out of his world of trauma and abuse into a loving and meaningful relationship with his adoptive father-to- be.
Costumes, hair styles and make up were so realistic that we were easily transported into life during World War Two.
One minute, children were jauntily rushing out of school as if they did not have a care in the word; at others, the reality of the most gruesome factors of a country at war and a childhood lost through abuse from an unstable parent were brought home.
Other main characters that shone were Zack (Torin Fahy) the vivacious, chatty child who enlivened the villagers’ lives with his unforgettable charisma, the unhinged and abusive mother Mrs Beech (Chloe Grimes) and the warm -hearted much more motherly Mrs. Fletcher (Sarah Boor).
There was also the kindly Annie Hartridge (Kerry Hibertt), the heavy-smoking, and sympathetic Dr Little (David Tickner – who also made a very colourful ticket collector), the Nurse (Sue Perry) and the consultant Dr Stelton (Peter Crussell, also the vicar). George (Daniel Allgood), Ginnie (Tabby Kirk), Carrie (Lillie Coghlin), and the evacuees all helped to establish a realistic world of children with their games and antics.
The remaining characters, too numerous to mention, were all just as effective and essential to the plot although mention must be made of the puppeteers: Sienna Warder and Sophie Jones who did a splendid job.
This was an excellent production. Judith Collingswood, Keith Gallois, Alison O’Connor and their team and are to be congratulated for such a meaningful, tear-jerking show.
The tissue kindly provided inside the programme was definitely needed.