Review: Hilarious antics abound in Tom Gates stage show

PUBLISHED: 14:20 13 June 2019 | UPDATED: 14:20 13 June 2019

The cast of Tom Gates Live, which is showing at the Bristol Hippodrome.

The cast of Tom Gates Live, which is showing at the Bristol Hippodrome.


Fans of Tom Gates are in for a treat as the hapless tween takes to the stage in a live show at The Playhouse in Weston-super-Mare.

Liz Pichon's Tom Gates books inspired my now 10-year-old son to read for pleasure, so we were delighted to attend the opening night of the show at The Playhouse last night (Wednesday).

A new story has been created for the show, but it features many of the main characters from the books, including Tom's friends Derek and Norman, the class tell-tale Marcus Meldrew and Tom's moody sister Delia.

Tom's grandparents - also known as The Fossils - his parents and his class teacher Mr Fullerman also star in the production.

In Tom Gates Live, we meet the titular character, excellently played by Matthew Chase, who is desperate to win some smiley faces on the class reward chart so he can go on a school trip to the biscuit factory.

Tom stumbles from mishap to mishap as he forgets his homework, daubs graffiti on the wrong wall and accidentally damages his mum's dress and his granddad's top hat, which they were planning to wear to a special occasion.

He is given the chance to have the sad faces on his reward chart struck off, if his band DogZombies performs well at the school open day.

It is hard to choose from the many highlights of the show, which is filled with laughs from start to finish courtesy of tattle-tale Marcus, the hilarious antics of The Fossils and the DogZombies' inappropriate performance at the school open day.

Marcus, played by Ashley Cousins, was fantastic as Tom's moaning classmate, while Amy Hargreaves also shone - both as Tom's friend Amy and his grumpy sister Delia who was constantly followed around by a rain cloud.

The show's set was phenomenal - displaying Tom's catchy doodles and speech bubbles - to tell the story in Pichon's distinctive style.

The set contained moving panels which revolved throughout the show to expertly depict Tom's bedroom, Mr Fullerman's classroom and Tom's dad's hilarious hotdog shaped car - complete with moving wheels.

My son and I were in awe of the numerous set changes and the handful of props which were used for a variety of different purposes throughout the show.

The music was also a delight, from the instrumentals played during set changes, to the hilarious songs performed by DogZombies including The Biscuit Song, The School Dinner Blues and Delia's A Weirdo.

If your child loves Tom Gates, I cannot recommend this show enough.

It had my son and I in stitches and he was desperately disappointed when the show came to an end.

If your little ones have yet to discover the delightful world of Tom Gates, then this is a great way to introduce them.

The show is packed with laughter, hilarious antics and loveable characters and is entertaining for all ages.

Tom Gates Live On Stage is at The Playhouse until Sunday.

Tickets, priced £15.50-18 are available from or from 01934 645544.

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