Read our Guide

Tell us what you're looking for - whether it's an attraction name or some phrases to describe your day out - and we'll help you to find the top tourist attractions for your visit.

Best Days Out Cornwall

Tom’s Midnight Garden at The Minack Theatre: A bewitching tale of a friendship that outlives time

Posted in News by Lauren Webb on 18th July 2023

This August at the Minack, enter the enchanted world of Tom’s Midnight Garden, a haunting tale that has captivated generations of children.

When his younger brother catches measles, ten-year-old Tom is sent into quarantine at his uncle and aunt’s house near Ely. It is dull in their stuffy flat and there isn’t even a garden to play in. Tom hates being cooped up indoors. But everything changes one midnight, when the clock in the hall strikes thirteen and Tom steps through a door into the past, where he makes a very special friend.    

Zoe Curnow, Executive Director of the Minack, says, “Philippa Pearce’s book was written over 70 years ago, but the story has gained a new resonance in the wake of Covid. Many children will identify with Tom’s frustration at being cooped up indoors for weeks on end and the longing to escape into a green space. It’s the perfect summer play for the setting of the Minack. Entering the theatre for the first time through our sub-tropical garden above the sea is almost as surreal as the world Tom finds when he opens the garden door. We hope both adults and children will enjoy this wonderful tale of time and memory.”

Tom’s Midnight Garden won the prestigious Carnegie medal for children’s fiction in 1958 and in 2007 was runner up in a public ballot for the nation’s favourite children’s book. Although it’s been filmed several times for television and once for cinema, it first reached the stage in 2001 in this entrancing version by David Wood.

The Minack’s production is created by the team that brought the acclaimed, sell out show, The Wolves of Willoughby Chase to the Minack in 2021. 

Director Kirstie Davis is delighted to be back at the Minack with another children’s classic. “Two years ago, I came to the Minack for the first time and directed The Wolves of Willoughby Chase. It was a magical time and the Minack is a very exciting space to spend a summer in. I am so looking forward to bringing Tom’s Midnight Garden to life on that stage. This time with the added dimension of live music, which I think will add immensely to the storytelling of the piece. Once again, we are bringing professional actors and young people together to tell this story and the Minack will become the secret garden that Tom discovers in this time travelling adventure. I can’t wait!”

The Minack’s production is directed by Kirstie Davis (Forest Forge Theatre Company, Cheltenham Everyman Theatre, Watford Palace Theatre etc), designed by Jessica Curtis and features Darcey Ball, Ben Kernow, Ross Telfer, Eleanor Toms and students of the Minack Academy Lucy Beasley, Jesse Battle, Jack Mulholland and Patrick Chruszcz, with original music by Ben Sutcliffe and Zaid Al-Rikabi.

Tom’s Midnight Garden opens at the Minack on 22 August and runs until 1 September For information on performance dates and times visit or to book tickets, phone the Minack Theatre Box Office on 01736 810181 (Mon – Fri 10 – 4). Advance booking essential