Friday 23 October 2020

The Midnight Gang at Cheltenham Open-Air Theatre Festival review

Picnic in hand and deck chairs on our arms, we headed to Bacon Theatre's glorious Open-Air Theatre Festival for its children's show, The Midnight Gang.

In a nutshell

Heart-warming and packed with slapstick silliness, The Midnight Gang was the perfect slice of feel-good theatre in the atmospheric setting of Tuckwell Amphitheatre.


The review

The setting

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There’s something magical about enjoying entertainment alfresco in Cheltenham. Maybe because the British weather is not normally on our side and secondly because it’s a true sign that summer is here.

Heading down to the atmospheric amphitheatre, the trees lined with fairy lights, tea lights dotted around the aisles and the smell of summer in the air, we pitched up our chairs and pulled out our picnic amongst all the other families.

With delicious homemade pizzas available for a tasty treat, face painting for the kiddies, and ice creams for the interval, we sat back in our seats and waited for the performance to start.


The story


Expertly bringing David Walliams’ story, The Midnight Gang, to life, Heartbreak Productions took to the stage with an enthusiastic energy that instantly had all of the children (and adults) chuckling at the witty humour and larger-than-life characters.

Following the hilarious antics of a group of children who are recovering in hospital, The Midnight Gang tells the story of the adventures they get up to once the clock strikes midnight.

With a horrible matron on duty, the children must distract the villain using some rather ingenious tactics, including poisoning chocolates and even injecting a sedative into her bottom, which sent a roar of laughter around the little ones.


A happy ending


Taking their adventures to the North Pole, sending an elderly lady to the sky with balloons, and enlisting the amazing alibi of the hospital Porter, The Midnight Gang were a real treat to watch. Their endless energy, catchy songs and cheeky one liners meant it wasn’t just the kids that were throwing their heads back with laughter.

With just one final adventure on the cards, one poorly girl, named Sally, has never been allowed to join the gang and as her condition gets worse, the gang decide to include in her one last mission – this one the best of all.

Smiles on our faces and a fuzzy feeling in our tummies, we watched the final adventure unfold as the gang set about to create every one of Sally’s dreams; performing a wedding, graduation and series of sentimental events that Sally may never have.

Combining magical and mischievous missions, colourful characters and a feel-good tale, The Midnight Gang did not disappoint and what’s more, enjoying it alfresco, we couldn’t have asked for better.


SoGlos loves

Spanning several outdoor theatre productions as well as classic movies under the stars, the Cheltenham Open-Air Theatre allows audiences to bring their own picnic or even a bottle of bubbly for the grown-ups.


Top tip

Head to the performances nice and early to get a good spot in front of the stage or screen. If you don’t fancy packing a picnic, you can tuck into one of the seriously tasty pizzas from the festival’s pizza van.


What next?

For more information, see Cheltenham Open-Air Theatre Festival, call (01242) 2580002, or visit bacontheatre.co.uk directly.

© SoGlos
Friday 20 July 2018

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