Kids in London – Tom Gates Live on Stage! at Richmond Theatre

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Posted by KimT on Wednesday 20th of March 2019




Class 5F – including Tom Gates and his fellow band members in the Zombie Dogs as well as Amy and “mean” Marcus - are focused on the achievement chart. They try not to be late and to do their homework on time.

There are roller-skating and spoon-playing grandparents, a van with a giant hot dog on top, an obsession with snacks, a party in an old folks’ home complete with a wedding arch made of zimmer frames and a school trip to a biscuit factory (cue the favourite biscuit song).

The stage set is an innovative video wall onto which rooms, drawings, doodles and barometers of greatness and shooting-star celebrations are projected. Critical bits of scenery – windows, doors and washing machines – break through the video screen.

My personal favourite was the storm cloud and rain graphic that follows Tom’s older sister around (cue song “Delia’s a weirdo”). That’s so apt for a teen girl.

I took a six year old companion along to gauge her reaction. She reported that she really liked the “four sad faces” and the mind-worm chips song (The School Dinner Blues). She was engrossed in the story the entire two hours and 15 minutes (including ice cream during the interval). And she was very keen to tackle the colouring and other activities in the programme after the show.

We were fortunate that the author – Liz Pichon – was around before the production to sign copies of her books. She also did lots of “Thank yous” at the end.

We left the theatre with a jolly sugar-rush kind of feeling. Kids, parents and grandparents will all enjoy this one.

It’s on at Richmond Theatre until Sunday 24th March and then tours the UK until August 2020. Please visit tomgateslive.com for more information

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