Written by Michelle Magorian & Adapted by David Wood
DIRECTED BY NATHAN HEY
One of the most heart wrenching yet uplifting stories ever written, Michelle Magorian’s stunning Goodnight Mister Tom is brought gloriously to life in this stage adaptation by David Wood – the UK’s ‘National Children’s Dramatist’ (The Times). Set during the dark and dangerous build-up to the Second World War, Goodnight Mister Tom follows sad young William Beech, who is evacuated to the idyllic English countryside and builds a remarkable and moving friendship with the elderly recluse Tom Oakley. All seems perfect until William is devastatingly summoned by his mother back to London.
Please note: Ages are an indication of character age only and roles are open to actors outside these ages. Most roles except for Tom, Will, Sammy and Zach will require you to be part of an ensemble to make up the villagers, evacuees, Londoners, nursing staff, and if suitable the squirrel and bird.
TOM OAKLEY: (55- late 60s)
A recluse that reluctantly takes in William. Isolated after the loss of his wife and unborn child, Tom has to adjust to not only living with William but re-joining the township he has long avoided. He was a man of faith before the deaths of his family. Through his relationship with William he is encouraged to love and believe again. A beautiful and challenging role.
WILLIAM BEECH: (10-18 years)
A young city boy who has come from a household of neglect and abuse. His relationship with Tom builds his self-esteem and worth. Originally awkward and nervous he transforms throughout the play to a confident and able young lad. I am open to casting ideally with young actor but will move up in age to find the right actor for the role.
ZACH : (10-18 years)
Zach is the polar opposite of William, confident and outgoing, and full of enthusiasm and energy. A Jewish evacuee from London, he comes from a theatrical family. I am open to casting ideally with a young actor but will move up in age to find the right actor for the role.
Sammy the dog is a critical role and is present in the majority of the scenes. He delivers some touching moments with Will and is the one who ultimately gets William rescued in London. An experienced puppeteer is required to bring this character alive. This is a truly rewarding role and must bring attention to the dog’s performance.
CHARLIE RUDDLES/ DAVID HARTRIDGE/ VICAR/ MR STELTON: (25-50’s)
Charlie is the local ARP warden. David is Mrs Hartridge’s husband and a RAF trainee pilot. The vicar is a young and energetic man keen to build his community. Mr Stelton is a psychiatrist who evaluates Will. These roles are a range of characters each with their own characterisation to define the roles. You may also be asked to be part of other scenes. I’m open the age so don’t worry if you don’t fit exactly into the age range.
GEORGE FLETCHER/ POLICEMAN: (18-30’s)
Open on age with this role but George needs to have a youthful and energetic presence, and match Will and Zach with their mannerisms (11-14years of age). He is the youngest son of Mrs Fletcher. The policeman will be able to avoid the early draft due to his role as a policeman. London accent preferable. You may also be asked to be part of other scenes.
DR LITTLE/ TICKET COLLECTOR: (35-60’s)
Dr Little oversees William’s recovery and helps Tom with the medical aspects of William’s abuse. The ticket collector should have a London accent and is rather over his job. You may also be asked to be part of other scenes.
MR/ MRS MILLER/ ARP WARDEN (LONDON): (50-60’s)
Mr or Mrs Miller is the local post office and general store. This role is open to male or female as there is flexibility. London accent is preferable for the ARP warden.
BILLETING OFFICER/ MISS THORNE: (18-30s)
The billeting officer is an efficient, no nonsense lady who has little patience for silly behaviour from the evacuees. Miss Thorne is the local librarian and amateur drama producer.
MRS FLETCHER/ GLAD/ SOCIAL WORKER: (40-55)
Mrs Fletcher is the mother of George and a housewife. She has a soft spot for Tom, and is good natured. Glad is warm hearted Londoner who is clearly into her gossip. The Social worker is concerned for William but has her heart in the right place. All roles are quite warm and friendly so will need good characterisation to define the roles clearly from one another.
MISS MILLER/ UNDERSTUDY: (14-25)
Miss Miller works to help her father in the store. Always vigilant for shoplifting from the evacuees she tears into Will. This role will also be called on a lot as a fellow school student, in ensemble roles as well. You will have quite a bit of stage time.
MRS ANNE HARTRIDGE/ MRS BEECH: (40-late 50s)
Two polar roles. Mrs Hartridge the school teacher who is married to Mr Hartridge. Throughout the play she is expecting and has the baby and finds out her husband has been killed. Dramatic role with lots of punch. Will also play Mrs Beech the abusive mother of William, a mentally deranged woman who is strict and unloving.
CARRIE/ SISTER: (16-30)
11 in the play, twin sister of Ginnie. Carrie is the academic of the two. Open on age with this role but Carrie needs to have a youthful and energetic presence, and match Will and Zach with their energy, behaviour etc. (11-14years of age). The sister is in the hospital where William is recovering. Very strict and authorative.
GINNIE/ NURSE: (16-30)
11 in the play, twin sister of Carrie. Ginnie is the practical of the two. Open on age with this role but Ginnie needs to have a youthful and energetic presence, and match Will and Zach with their energy, behaviour etc. (11-14years of age). The nurse is the hospital where William is recovering. Young and empathic.