Australia, it’s finally time to get thee to the theatre for the rollicking CDP Kids production of The Midnight Gang!
If you’ve got primary school-aged children and you’re hankering to see professional live entertainment again (in actual, proper indoor venues!) while keeping the kids off devices and having a laugh or ten, then The Midnight Gang ticks absolutely every box.
Based on the book of the same name by prolific British author David Walliams, this 60-minute play cleverly captivates and entertains both children and adults alike. There’s plenty of bum-themed jokes (setting off delightful waves of childish giggles around the packed theatre), while parents chuckled at subtle jokes that the kids didn’t even notice. It truly does live up to its promise of appealing to children 6+ and their families.
To sum it up, The Midnight Gang is a comedy with heartfelt messages. The story centres on 12-year-old Tom (played by Alex Beauman) who unexpectedly finds himself in St. Crook’s Hospital after a bump to the head from a cricket ball. In his ward are three other children: the wheelchair-bound Amber (Emma Kew), temporarily blind George (Nicholas Starte) and Sally (Sarah Greenwood) who is being treated for cancer.
Despite being at the mercy of the evil Matron (also deftly played by Sarah Greenwood), the children form The Midnight Gang, and with help from the kindly, disfigured Porter (Mathew Lee) they manage to go on amazing journeys, turning the hospital into the places they’ve always wanted to visit and making dreams come true. It’s a celebration of friendship, love and the power of the imagination.
The atmosphere changed as quickly as the masterful set pieces and props, and everyone was mesmerised. There were even times when a reverential hush fell across the audience – quite a feat for a venue holding hundreds of children and their families!
Without giving anything away, amongst our party of four (two adults, a 6-year-old and an 11-year-old) we all agreed our favourite part was when the elderly character Nelly floated out the window with an enormous bunch of balloons. Grab your tickets and head along to see how they made it look so realistic and so funny!
The Midnight Gang is brought to life by the same team who’ve staged classics like The 13- 26- 52- 78 and 91-Storey Treehouses, Mr Stink, and Billionaire Boy, so you’d expect it to be high-quality theatre, and it certainly doesn’t disappoint.
‘The Midnight Gang’ is currently travelling through Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland, Tasmania, and Western Australia during April, May and June.
For dates and venues, visit https://cdp.com.au/midnightgang.html#about
By Sarah Halfpenny, Daily Joy