Coram Boy – August 7 -10 – Nottingham Playhouse stages biggest ever live production

Nottingham Playhouse is taking over the city’s esteemed Albert Hall with a company of over 100 local performers and creatives in its biggest-ever live community production.

Based on the award-winning novel by Jamila Gavin, Coram Boy tells the tale of Aaron and his best friend Toby. Both are wards of Thomas Coram’s famous Foundling Hospital, which took in children whose mothers were unable to care for them during the eighteenth century. However, as the story unravels the boys uncover the dark underbelly of Georgian society, and the gruesome truth behind the infamous ‘Coram men’ who pretended to work for the hospital.

The play will be directed by Adam Penford, following his successes with both Wonderland and The Madness of George III – starring Mark Gatiss and Adrian Scarborough. It also continues Nottingham Playhouse’s long-standing tradition for making ground-breaking theatre with – and for – local people.

In March 2019, over 300 people applied to be part of Coram Boy. Applicants ranged from ages 12 to 80, and from a diverse range of occupations including nurses, care workers and bus drivers. They came from far and wide across Nottinghamshire, and for many, it is their first time acting or singing in a production. The journey of both cast and choir members has been followed through the Playhouse’s regular video posts

George Frideric Handel conducted annual performances of The Messiah to raise vital funds for the Foundling Hospital, and his music is central to the plot of the play. Internationally acclaimed organist John Keys will perform on the Albert Hall’s famous grade 2 listed Binns Organ alongside a string quartet, accompanying the community choir in Coram Boy’s soaring vocal score.

Adam Penford, Artistic Director at Nottingham Playhouse, said: “Coram Boy is our most ambitious and exciting community project to date. We were overwhelmed by the number of people who wanted to be involved and had to make some tough decisions during the audition process. The cast reflects the diversity of our region with participants of all different ages and backgrounds. It’s been so much fun watching them bond and work together to create this complex and moving production. Their work ethic and enthusiasm has infected the whole organisation.”

Martin Berry, Head of Participation at Nottingham Playhouse, added: “A huge project like Coram Boy underlines how talented and creative our city is. The company has developed and thrived throughout the project, and the end result promises to be incredible.”

280 years ago Thomas Coram established the Foundling Hospital – London’s first home for babies whose mothers were unable to care for them themselves. Mothers left a token which could be used to identify their child if they returned to reclaim them. Over the centuries, more than 25,000 children’s lives were saved. Today, the children’s charity Coram continues to offer direct, practical help and emotional support to vulnerable children, young people, and their families.

Nottingham Playhouse was named Regional Theatre of the Year at The Stage Awards 2019. Nottingham Playhouse has been one of the United Kingdom’s leading producing theatres since its foundation in 1948. It welcomes over 130,000 ticket buyers annually and an additional 170,000 visitors to participation events and to Anish Kapoor’s stunning Sky Mirror. It creates productions large and small, from timeless classics and enthralling family shows to adventurous new commissions, often touring work nationally and internationally.

In spring 2018 under Artistic Director Adam Penford, the Playhouse produced two world premieres, Shebeen and Lava, and one regional premiere,Wonderland, all to great critical acclaim. September 2018 saw the highly praised production of Sweet Charity, the Playhouse’s first musical in over 10 years. In November 2018, The Madness of George III became the Playhouse’s highest ever selling drama. The production was also broadcast by NT Live to over 2,500 venues in nearly 70 different countries, and won two WhatsOnStage Awards 2019 for Best Play Revival and Best Supporting Actor in a Play (Adrian Scarborough).

Based on the novel by Jamila Gavin
Adapted by Helen Edmundson
Director Adam Penford
Designer Kevin Jenkins
Lighting Designer Will Welch
Sound Designer Adam P McCready
Musical Director Alex Patterson
Choreographer Emma Lewis-Jones
Organist John Keys
String Quartet Helix Ensemble
Associate Director Jack Quarton

Albert Hall Conference Centre
North Circus Street

Performance dates
Wednesday 7 August- Saturday 10 August

Performance times
Evenings – 7pm
Matinee (Sat 10) 2.30pm (signed)

£22.50 – £10

Box Office
01159419419 <>