Outdoor Theatre Review: The Midnight Gang

The Summer has well and truly arrived and bringing with it is some of the most amazing outdoor theatre.

Didsbury’s Fletcher Moss Park plays host to a number of shows over the next few months kicking off with Heartbreak Productions take on David Walliam’s book, The Midnight Gang.

The number one children’s author, Walliams certainly has a huge fan-base when it comes to the pint-sized population so, bringing one of his bestsellers to life is a genius idea! It certainly attracted lots of families who came out in droves with their picnic blankets and hampers to watch it unfold.

If you’ve never read the book (and if you are over 12 you probably haven’t) then it’s basically about a bunch of children stuck in hospital for their different ailments. Together they form a strong bond and have fun sneaking about the grounds, trying to outwit the miserable Matron and fulfil some of their dreams.

The message throughout is strong friendship conquers all. In fact, the great thing about the whole show is that it has so many strong messages to take away, all played out without being cheesy or condescending to our younger generation.

From start to finish kids and adults were both squealing in delight as the 6 strong cast expertly took on a number of different roles, singing and dancing their hearts out. The whole ensemble should be praised for their energy, especially in the 30 degrees’ heat, dressed in dressing gowns and pyjamas!

Leading the way is Howard Scott Walker who puts in a dual performance as the loveable Porter and the ‘not so nice’ Matron. Walker delivers a fabulous dose of a ‘dame’ – worthy of a thumbs up from Walliams for his ‘laydee’ antics. Matthew Cooper also shines, taking on a whopping 4 roles, each of which presented well carved-out characters.

There’s some great interactive ‘panto-esque’ moments which get all the family involved and director Kristoffer Huball should take a bow for the wonderful final scene which makes even the hardest of hearts melt.

Heartbreak Productions open air adaption of ‘The Midnight Gang’ is a fabulous way to spend a summer’s afternoon and a real theatrical treat for young and old!


Mini Reviewer’s verdict  (Daisy aged 7)

This is a funny, caring and loving show with good actors who are very appropriate for adults and kids in every way. It’s all about children having aspirations and bringing their dreams to life.

My favourite character was George, I loved his cockney accent and he was so cheeky. It was also great to see someone doing sign language at the side of the stage so that hard of hearing people could be included.

I loved the games they played during the show where we all got involved and the best bit was seeing Matron get put on toilet duty as punishment!


Heartbreak have a range of productions throughout the Summer in Fletcher Moss, for more information and tickets, check out the link below:

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