Yesterday it was announced that the play of Goodnight Mister Tom has won the Olivier Award for Best Entertainment And Family!
“I’m absolutely delighted for the cast. They are an incredibly talented and lovely group of people and Oliver Ford Davies is stunning as Mister Tom, making people laugh one minute and well up with tears the next. After the West End run, when they were touring they were often doing two shows and sometimes three shows a day on top of having to find places to live.
By an extraordinary coincidence, the choreographer of the musical version of Goodnight Mister Tom, Bill Deamer, who saved the day on its opening night in Manchester in 1995 also won an award tonight for Best Choreographer (Top Hat).
The boy playing William had fallen ill and lost his voice. There was a packed house and it looked as though the performance would have to be cancelled.
Bill Deamer, said “I’ll play him.’ The cast thought he was mad but after a few minutes into it, the audience accepted that this tall man walking around with a script was William. They were cheering at the end.
When I saw him backstage after the show, he smiled and said ,’I always wanted to play that part.’
Naturally I was delighted to see him win too, remembering a particular tap number he choreographed in Goodnight Mister Tom where he had the local vicar, librarian and air raid warden tapping and dancing away with the children and other villagers. It was a real show stopper.
I hope to pop round and see the Petersfield Theatre Group tomorrow in rehearsal. I’ve heard that they are really enjoying the rehearsals. I wonder if I’ll find them wearing tap shoes.
Why not join them for the show!”