ONLY the heartless would fail to be touched by this one, a heart-warming tale faithfully adapted for the stage by David Wood.
An elderly widower re-discovers his appetite for life after a young and vulnerable evacuee is senl to live with him in his idyllic Devon village.
William, the little lad in question, is nursing the physical and psychological scars of abuse at the hands of a mentally ill mother fixated on religion.
Gradually, an unlikely bond builds between William and Tom Oakley, his new carer who actually cares for him, and this is expertly played out by Bryan Higgins (Tom) and Benoit Normand (William). Higgins has a deep seated affection for this delight of a role and it's plain for all to see.
I also challenge anyone not to warm to Henry Thorman's Zach, a character as loud as the jumper he wears. At the other end of the spectrum we have Caroline Knight, positively hateful as William's crackpot of a parent, a woman who'd make most puritans seem like party animals.
This is the ideal opportunity for parents to introduce older children to the theatre. While Goodnight Mister Tom doesn't gloss over the human tragedy of war, we are reminded that even in this chocolate box Devon village the residents aren't immune from it, this play touches on the subject in such a way that won't give the kids nightmares.
So, I heartily recommend parents buy tickets for this as an Easter holiday treat for their youngsters.
Director Andrew Close serves up a production that tugs the heart strings without seeming to try.
* Until April 14. The box office is on 0161 928 1677. Star rating - ***