HEARTWARMING classic ‘Goodnight Mister Tom’ is being brought to life in Greenock this week.

Thistle Theatre Company return to the Beacon on Thursday for a three-day run of the much-loved tale, starring local actors Lyle Darroch and Jonty Cameron.

The play tracks the relationship between youngster William Beech and Mister Tom as they develop a friendship against the backdrop of war and its effects on the villagers of Little Weirwold.

David Foxton’s stage adaptation of Michelle Magorian’s novel is being staged by award-winning director, Lynsey Currie.

Lynsey said: “I have relished the opportunity to work with such an interesting text which is allowing our ensemble cast to explore innovative performance techniques in storytelling.

“We will also explore a range of production elements to bring the story to life.

“I have designed a set which is being specially commissioned and will allow me to capitalise on using lighting and sound to transport our audience to a variety of locations.

“I know that this story holds a special place for many people and it was important to me that audience members could come with their own pre-imagined world for William and visualise it through our production.”

Lynsey says an exciting element of the process has been employing professional puppeteer, Shane Connelly.

Shane has designed and created two puppets for the production including Mister Tom’s faithful Collie, Sammy.

This aspect of the production helps to capture the childhood element of the story and his escapades will engage audience members of all ages.

Nine-year-old Lyle, who stars as William Beech, said: “The best bit is getting to cuddle the dog.”

The production will feature actors from the main company alongside members of Thistle Theatre Academy, who are taking on a number of young roles.

Gourock actor Jonty, who plays Mister Tom, said: “This is my fifth production with Thistle Theatre.

“It’s great when you can get to perform alongside a diverse cast.”

Lynsey said: “It’s been great to have Thistle Academy working alongside our adult company as each have learned from each other.

“This is the first time that we’ve used puppets in a production — it’s great learning a new skill and adds a new dimension to our work.”

The show is on from March 1 to 3 at 7.30pm and also on Saturday at 2.30pm.

Visit www.beaconartscentre.co.uk or call 723723 for tickets.