CORNWALL'S Minack Theatre is welcoming visitors to step back in time and enter the 'enchanted world' of Tom’s Midnight Garden. 

The award-winning story of Tom’s Midnight Garden was written by Phillipa Pearce more than 70 years ago, however, the story has gained a new resonance in the wake of Covid.

The story tells the tale of Tom who is sent to quarantine at his uncle and aunt's ‘dull’ and ‘stuffy’ house near Ely after his little brother catches measles. Unfortunately for ten-year-old Tom, the house doesn’t have a garden, meaning being cooped up indoors – which Tom hates.

However, everything changes one midnight, when the clock in the hall strikes thirteen and Tom steps through a door into the past, where he makes a very special friend.

Falmouth Packet: Tom's Midnight Garden cast rehearse at the iconic Minack theatre Tom's Midnight Garden cast rehearse at the iconic Minack theatre (Image: Minack)

Zoe Curnow, executive director of the Minack explains how audience members, especially children will identify with Tom’s frustrations following the Covid pandemic. She said: “Many children will identify with Tom’s frustration at being cooped up indoors for weeks on end and the longing to escape into a green space.

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“It’s the perfect summer play for the setting of the Minack. Entering the theatre for the first time through a sub-tropical garden above the sea is almost as surreal as the world Tom finds when he opens the garden door.

“We hope both adults and children will enjoy this wonderful tale of time and memory.”

In 1958, Tom’s Midnight Garden won the prestigious Carnegie medal for children’s fiction in 1958 and in 2007 was a runner-up in a public ballot for the nation’s favourite children’s book.

Although it’s been filmed several times for television and once for cinema, it first reached the stage in 2001 in this entrancing version by David Wood.  

Falmouth Packet: Despite the unpredictable Cornish weather the cast have continued with rehearsals Despite the unpredictable Cornish weather the cast have continued with rehearsals (Image: Minack theatre)

The Minack’s production is created by the team that brought the acclaimed, sell-out show, The Wolves of Willoughby Chase to the Minack in 2021. 

Director Kirstie Davis is delighted to be back at the Minack with another children’s classic. She said “Two years ago, I came to the Minack for the first time and directed The Wolves of Willoughby Chase.

“It was a magical time and the Minack is a very exciting space to spend a summer in. I am so looking forward to bringing Tom’s Midnight Garden to life on that stage.

“This time with the added dimension of live music, which I think will add immensely to the storytelling of the piece. Once again, we are bringing professional actors and young people together to tell this story and the Minack will become the secret garden that Tom discovers in this time travelling adventure. I can’t wait!”

Tom’s Midnight Garden opens at the Minack on August 22 and will run until September 1, 2023.

For information on performance dates and times visit or to book tickets, phone the Minack Theatre Box Office on 01736 810181 (Mon – Fri 10 – 4). Advance booking is essential.