Bristol Theatre Reviews

Tom Gates Live Bristol Hippodrome

Tom Gates Live UK Tour

We went on 26/02/2019 at 19.00pm and sat in the Stalls

Birmingham Stage Company have brought Liz Pichon’s World of Tom Gates to life in this UK tour. I didn’t expect to feel so strongly about the content of a children’s stage show, but I admit it got me.

There’s something special about the Tom Gates books which you might not realise if you have a child with dyslexia. The layout and design of the pages, the fonts and the stories are perfect for children who struggle to read text with its high visual contrast design and words broken up to make it easier to track.

This world has been recreated on stage. There are definitely clever moments with the set design, but what really nailed it for me was the annoying lack of Send support in Tom’s classroom.

Tom is not a naughty child, but is struggling at school because of an obvious difficulty with executive function skills. If I had been Tom’s mum, I would have been bombing in to see the SendCo due to the lack of reasonable adjustments put in for a child who is clearly struggling to plan and organise their work. And don’t even get me started on the detentions for potential learning difficulties.

But that was also the great thing about the show. My children particularly related to Tom, his difficulties and his creativity.

Along with music, singing and a humorous plot line, this is a perfect show for children aged around 4 – 10 years with their families. And probably Send Coordinators.

It on tour until December 2019. For more information, or to book, visit:

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