REVIEW: Smiles and tears with Mister Tom
'Give me a smile I can keep all the while', sing the cast of Goodnight Mister Tom in the opening melody of this heartfelt and touching show.
The Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds production will indeed inspire smiles, tears and laughter, which linger long after the curtain falls on this quietly moving tale of love and loss.
Young evacuee William Beech (Jasmine Briggs) escapes the horrors of World War Two London when he is placed with the reclusive Tom Oakley (Roy Hudd) and his dog Sammy (puppeteered by Julia Cave) in the countryside.
Beaten by his God fearing and emotionally damaged mother, William arrives a crushed soul and a challenge for Tom who has shut himself off to the world for decades after the death of his wife and child.
Through simple acts of kindness, curmudgeonly 'Mister Tom' opens his heart, William thrives and the pair rescue one another.
The genteel charm of the first act is rocked by William's return to London and his mother's grip in powerful scenes, which explode as bombs fall on the capital.
The show, which features young people from the region, runs until Saturday, September 8.