Adapted by Helen Edmundson from the novel by Jamila Gavin.

Coram Boy is a dramatization by Helen Edmundson of the Whitbread Award-winning novel written by Jamila Gavin in 2000. Set in London and Gloucester in the 18th Century, it’s a sweeping tale that centres on the story of two orphans at the Coram Hospital for Foundling Children; Toby saved from an African slave ship and Aaron, the abandoned son of the heir to a Gloucestershire estate. A play about fathers and sons, the orphan’s stories are interweaved with the lives of slave-trader and ‘Coram Man’ Otis Gardiner and his son Meshak, and Sir William Ashbrook and the son he disinherits.

Music lies at the heart of this story. Alexander Ashbrook wants to pursue his dream of being a musician, while his father wants him to take over the reins of their family estate. Toby and Aaron are orphans who live in the Coram Hospital whose lives become closely involved with this true and tragic episode of British social history. They are also choirboys who are taking part in a performance of excerpts of Handel’s Messiah, which was actually performed on Christmas Eve 1750 at The Coram Hospital with all the proceeds going to the orphanage. Coram Boy features the music of Handel, including sections of The Messiah, as well as original music composed by Adrian Sutton and chamber music adapted by him for this production. This production will also feature a full choir with boys from Bedford School and girls from Bedford Girl’s School.

“A rich and almost gothic drama unfolds, full of dastardly villains, cold-hearted aristocrats, devoted friends and passionate lovers. Set against a background of cruelty, music and murder!” Philip Pullman

Please note that this story has some gruesome and upsetting situations which mean that while we consider this production to be suitable for children of 8+, some children under 12 may find some scenes upsetting.

Performed by boys from Bedford School, girls from Bedford Girls School and young people from the local community.

This amateur production is performed by arrangement with Nick Hern Books.

Date: Tuesday 9 – Thursday 11 February 2016
Time: 7.30pm
Venue: The Quarry Theatre 
Cost: £7.50 (£5 concessions)

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01234 362337

Running Time: 120mins (+ 15min interval)
Age Suitability: 8yrs +


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