David Walliams led the applause for a tale of his own invention on a memorable night at Chichester Festival Theatre.
Walliams’ The Midnight Gang – the biggest selling children’s book of 2016 – was adapted for the stage by Bryony Lavery, with music and lyrics by Joe Stilgoe and directed by Dale Rooks for a Chichester world premiere which runs until November 3.
Walliams was cheered as he took his seat in the theatre on Monday’s press night. By the end of the show, the audience was on its feet for a prolonged standing ovation.
Walliams then delighted everyone even more when he joined the cast on the stage.
He thanked everyone involved for taking his book and making it “a million times better.” Walliams singled out Bryony Lavery, Joe Stilgoe and Dale Rooks and also designer Simon Higlett.
But above all he lavished praised on the children on the stage who brought to life his tale of the midnight adventures enjoyed by a group of children in a seriously spooky hospital.
Walliams also thanked the second set of young actors – present in the audience – who will be sharing stage duties throughout the run.