Sunday, December 31, 2006

Coram Boy

I went to the National Theatre to see this a few nights ago. I must confess that as the tickets were a gift I was completely unprepared for it. I wasn't expecting very much from this play but now that I have been to see it I am more than happy that I did. It is very good.

It is a simple story told in a surprisingly effective way. The novel on which it is based won the Whitbread Children’s Book Award, which probably explains the simplicity of the story - it was written for children. But unlike most books written for younger readers this story is a dark and honest tale well suited to the time in which it is set, and I liked that.

Despite the dark setting there was space for humour and an exploration of the full gamut of human emotions throughout the two and three quarter hours of the play, which went by surprisingly quickly.

The production was very well executed. The Olivier Theatre has one of the most interesting stages in London, and when used properly that makes it ideal for staging dynamic productions such as this.

Coram Boy
Plot: 16/20
Acting: 17/20
Production: 18/20
Entertainment: 35/40
Total: 86/100
The acting (and singing) was excellent. So good in fact that I'm going to have to acquire a copy of Handel's Messiah and have a proper listen. Whilst not a huge fan of 18th century choral pieces I left the theatre humming away.

All in all it was a very entertaining evening and I would recommend it for both adults and older children. I wouldn't take a child under twelve years though unless they had a particularly hardy constitution.



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