Coram Boy

This show has now closed, click here for a listing of current and future London shows

Play from 2 November 2005 to 4 February 2006, returned 29 November 2006 to 24 February 2007

Olivier Theatre (National Theatre) South Bank, London

"Thrilling and exuberant - A great and uplifting success" The Daily Mail

Coram Boy is adapted by Helen Edmundson from a novel by Jamila Gavin. This stage version is directed by Melly Still. Coram Boy was the winner of the Whitbread Children's Book Award.

A tale of two cities: Gloucester and London. A tale of two orphans at the Coram Hospital for Deserted Children: Toby, saved from an African slave ship and Aaron, the abandoned son of the heir to a great estate. A tale of fathers and sons, set in the dark heart of 18th-century England. An epic adventure filled with danger and excitement.

Please Note: Recommended for 12 years plus.

Following a successful season from November 2005 to February 2006, The Coram Boy returns for another season from 29 November 2006.

"A highly superior show that should appeal to adults and children alike" The Guardian

"The National's superb new family show - recommended for over-12s and sophisticated enough for adults too - is based on Jamila Gavin's Whitbread Award-winning novel... Helen Edmundson and almost all Melly Still's cast manage to make the complex storylines and urgent acceleration both lucid and thrilling. Romantic attachments, passions and pain are acted with a sensitivity and a heartfelt directness that make them acutely touching. Indeed, after its subdued start, this production becomes enthralling, making you care about or fear Gavin's characters with a remarkable intensity." The Independent on Sunday

"I would recommend Coram Boy to anyone over 12 years old, but absolutely no younger. Helen Edmundson's play is a lively intelligent, pleasingly accurate adaptation of Jamila Gavin's award-winning children's book and as such it contains some pretty murky details; babies buried alive, a hanging, girls in chains shipped off to unknown locations, a teenage pregnancy and more... Coram Boy is a rewarding play but, like a Cider House Rules for teenagers, it really is for the over-12s, not a day under." The Sunday Telegraph

"In fits and starts, but with ultimately infectious dash and vim, Coram Boy arrives on the Olivier stage and dares other Christmas productions to match it... The National clearly relishes the challenge of forging out of a complex work of children's fiction an evening of populist drama. And Coram Boy, a story about teenage pregnancy, infanticide and slave-trading in Georgian London, positively teems with melodramatic potential... But Melly Still and Helen Edmundson seem overwhelmed by the need to cram in enough of the story to make it explicable to those who have not read the novel." The Sunday Times

"Adapted by Helen Edmundson from Jamila Gavin's novel, Coram Boy is messy, helter-skelter, awhirl with melodramatic plots and confusing leaps in time, but it produces one of the rarest sounds in today's theatre: sniffing into hankies. Strike a chord of The Messiah as Christmas approaches and you're likely to tap into a tear duct, but the use of Handel's music in Melly Still's production is exceptional. It's not only that Adrian Sutton's arrangements are exquisite and that they are delivered by choir and soloists with gravity and sweetness. The music fuels the plot." The Observer