Birmingham Stage Company

Reviews

If you want real theatre, try this marvellous retelling of a favourite story!

-The Times


An exquisite show for all the ages - we could not recommend it more highly!

- Angels and Urchins


The acting is superb!

-What to Do with the Kids



What an amazing performance. The inspiring novel by Philippa Pearce has been brought to life in a spectacular production by Birmingham Stage Company. This cleverly thought out performance stretches imaginative boundaries, as the audience is left questioning their own judgement of time and reality!

- Birmingham Mail


 

David Wood’s award-winning adaptation is a joy, so simple and yet so multi-layered. It is just the vehicle for Birmingham Stage Company, where the lighting, the sheer power of the imagination and the quality of mime create an enchanted garden. This is high quality live theatre and is very respectful of its young audience, who are entranced.

              -The Stage



Just as they did in their recent production of James and The Giant Peach, Birmingham Stage Company show why they are at the forefront of children’s theatre. No CGI-laden effects here as Tom permeates through solid objects using simple theatre techniques. Minimal props and simple sets suffice as BSC’s multi-instrument playing cast intersperse their crystal-clear dialogue with music and haunting sound effects to keep its young (and old) audience spellbound.

              -Sheffield Star
 


A MARVELLOUS RETELLING OF A FAVOURITE STORY

If you want real theatre, try the Birmingham Stage Company's marvellous version of Tom's Midnight Garden. Philippa Pearce's classic story has a lonely boy creeping out as the clock strikes 13, haunted by a garden and a girl child from the past. David Wood, the adapter, had a tricky task, but beautifully renders its questing ideas of time and memory and a boy's realisation that old people are just bygone children like him.

I sat amid 360 pupils from 6 to 11, bussed up from an enlightened Essex primary school and breathed in their attentive wonder. They didn't need joshing, shouting or nudgey funny uncle jokes to be held by the story: the lighting and subtle projection transformed and made transparent a simple set of curves and arches by Jacqueline Trousdale. Neal Foster, the director, uses live musicians on cello, flute and guitar, and the movement is clever enough to convince the CGI generation that a boy walks through walls and hands go through a ghost.

-The Times


It you don't like the Christmas panto, then why not think about booking tickets to this fabulous production of Tom's Midnight Garden. We could not recommend it more highly. An exquisite show for all ages, everyone was on the edge of their seats enchanted by the fantastical story of Tom who is forced to stay with his aunt and uncle while his brother recovers from measles. Initially disappointed, his stay becomes more interesting by the discovery of a beautiful magical garden, which only appears at night when an old grandfather clock strikes thirteen. A simple but beautiful production of an old favourite, the magic of the book was portrayed wonderfully.

'It was brilliant! the acting was fantastic and I loved it', said my seven year old; my eleven year old 'found it was interesting to think about time and it was one of the best things I have seen'.

-Angels and Urchins


Philippa Pearce's 1958 children's fantasy novel was an instant classic. In the Birmingham Stage Company's capable hands the story stands the test of time for the reality of TV and Xbox generation too.

David Wood's adaptation stays very true to the book and director Neal Foster has pared the production right back with a simple - but very effective - design, with beautiful live music. The engaging cast make the time fly past as they tiptoe, climb and ice-skate around Jacqueline Trousdale's semi-transparent spiral-shaped set.

We clearly don't give primary school children enough credit for being able to concentrate. This production kept them enthralled throughout and there were excited cheers all over the audience as the house lights were dimmed at the beginning of the second half.

-The Stage


Tom's Midnight Garden is an intriguing play about a boy who discovers a secret garden at his aunt and uncle's house. The acting is superb. We were particularly impressed by Tom (David Tute) who was utterly convincing as a bemused and excited young boy. Tom's Midnight Garden appealed to both the adults and the children in our group and it was a pleasure, as an adult, to attend a children's play with so much depth and so well acted.

-What To Do With The Kids