Goodnight Mister Tom

Full-Length Play, Drama  /  6w, 7m

Adapted by David Wood
From the novel by Michelle Magorian

A tale of two broken souls at very different ends of the age scale, Goodnight Mister Tom celebrates the value of love and proves that friendship knows no barriers.

  • Cast Size
    Cast Size
    6w, 7m
  • Duration
    120 minutes (2 hours)
  • SubGenre
    Adaptations (Literature)
  • Audience
    Target Audience
    Appropriate for all audiences
  • Winner! 2013 Olivier Award for Best Entertainment and Family



One of the most 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.

Goodnight Mr. Tom premiered at the Chichester Festival Theatre in Sussex in February 2011 under the drection of Angus Jackson.
BILLETING OFFICER – efficient no-nonsense female.
TOM OAKLEY – mid-to-late 60s, loner
WILLIAM BEECH – 10, deprived evacuee
SAMMY – a black and white collie dog
MRS. FLETCHER – housewife and mother
DOCTOR LITTLE – the local doctor
MRS. ANNIE HARTRIDGE – school teacher
DAVID HARTRIDGE – her husband, trainee RAF pilot
CARRIE – 11, redheaded twin to GINNIE, academic
GINNIE – 11, redheaded twin to CARRIE, practical
GEORGE FLETCHER – 10, youngest son of Mrs Fletcher
MISS THORNE – local librarian and amateur dramatics producer
ZACH – 11, Jewish evacuee, from a theatrical family
MR. MILLER – proprietor of the Post Office/Stores
MISS MILLER – who helps her father in the shop. Late teens, early 20s
VICAR – young, enthusiastic
MRS. BEECH – William’s mother, strict, prim, mentally disturbed
ARP WARDEN – (London)
GLAD – warm-hearted Londoner
POLICEMAN – solid and strong
NURSE – young and sympathetic
SISTER – stands no nonsense
MR. STELTON – a psychiatrist

Ensemble cast - doubling possible. M7 F6 plus puppeteer.
25 speaking
parts plus opportunities for extras in the ensemble.

  • Time Period 1940s / WWII
  • Setting Various locations in the West Country and London, England. 1939-1941.
  • Features Period Costumes
  • Additional Features Play w/ Music
  • Duration 120 minutes (2 hours)
  • Cautions
    • Mild Adult Themes


“Tough, unsentimental yet tender, it is a gem.” – Sunday Express

“If you are looking for a family show with real emotional depth and staying power, David Wood's remarkably appealing stage adaptation of the 1981 children's classic is just the ticket.” – The Independent

Goodnight Mr. Tom is a powerful learning experience in terms of both the historical context and the horrors of war and worth seeing for those aspects alone. But it is also a totally engrossing and compelling story that is endearing, heartwarming, touching, tender and ultimately uplifting. And you cannot wish for much more than that!” – London Theatre

“Works like a charm… the play will speak to children, without question – but it may well be adults, looking back at a long-ago England while catching reactions of their own younger, fearful selves, it moves the most. Recommended.” – Daily Telegraph

“Tugs the heart strings… moments of enchanting comedy… splendidly faithful to the book… a big success.” – The Independent

“It ends as children’s theatre should: adults audibly snivelling and children breathlessly attentive. Here’s a suggestion: ever since the role of children’s laureate was created, the title has gone to novelists, a poet and the illustrator Quentin Blake. It should now go to a playwright, to acknowledge that theatre too has a vital role. David Wood has been making quality children’s plays for 43 years. Herewith my nomination.” – The Times


Check out an interview with adapter David Wood on how he handled some of the subject matter for children in Goodnight Mr. Tom here.


  • Goodnight Mister Tom trailer youtube thumbnail

    Goodnight Mister Tom trailer

  • Podcast interview with David Wood youtube thumbnail

    Podcast interview with David Wood

Licensing & Materials

  • Minimum Fee: £70 per performance plus VAT when applicable.
  • Optional Music/Media Fee: £18 per performance


Available Formats:


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David Wood

David Wood has been called “the national children’s dramatist” (London Times). His plays are performed worldwide, and include The Gingerbread Man, The Plotters of Cabbage Patch Corner, Save the Human, Aladdin, Hijack Over Hygenia, Jack the Lad, Larry the Lamb in Toytown, Old ...

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Michelle Magorian

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