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School Production: Coram Boy

“This is the one…when that elusive, really special play turns up, the shivers still shoot up and down the spine” - British Theatre Guide on the National Theatre’s production of Coram Boy.

Last week, we welcomed over 500 guests to Bloxham to see this year's school production of Coram Boy. We also had the pleasure of welcoming Jamila Gavin, author of the original Whitbread prize-winning novel for which Helen Edmundson’s stage adaptation was based on, to see the performance on Thursday.  

Coram Boy was first performed at the National Theatre, before transferring to Broadway. The production was a major collaboration between the Drama Department and the Music Department; intertwined with Handel’s Messiah and an original dramatic underscore composed by the Olivier Award-winning Adrian Sutton (War Horse and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time). 

Set in eighteenth-century England, Coram Boy is a sweeping saga of growing-up, struggle, tradition and corruption. The evil Otis Gardner preys on unmarried mothers, promising to take their babies to the Coram Hospital orphanage, but instead disposes of them and flees with their money. This dark tale follows two orphaned boys on an adventure to rediscover their heritage, whilst along the way realising the redeeming and universal power of music, love and friendship.

Guests were mesmerised by the brilliantly dramatic performance of our students who took to the new 'in-the-round' setting fantastically. Staging 'in-the-round' requires a bare stage and therefore places greater focus on performance. This means that the elements of music, lighting, sound and costume become even more fundamental to each scene in how they create location and atmosphere. The collaboration between staff and students across music, DT, tech crew and the work of the Drama Department team came together in a challenging and visceral piece of drama, and we are extremely thankful for the great skill and dedicated time and effort show by all of those involved. 

Each evening, we welcomed donations for The Coram Charity and we are delighted to announce that a total of £866.75 was raised. 

To view a full set of photos from the performance, please click here