Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Review: Coram Boy: The Play

Coram Boy: The Play
Coram Boy: The Play by Helen Edmundson

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Admittedly, this review is based on seeing the National Theatre's film of its own 2005 production, so not all points hold.

The story plots the 18th Century lives of two boys and their obsession with one girl. One is the heir to a country estate who wants to devote his life to music instead; the other is the son of a thoroughly nasty character who takes money from unmarried mothers to send their babies to the Coram foundlings institution but then murders the children and pockets the cash. Not a nice man.

It's a compelling story, let down slightly by the failure of the two storylines to weave together. The National's production was let down by the intrusiveness of the music, which often drowned out the dialogue and is so prevalent that the show was practically an opera. It's other main failing was the cast, or possibly the director, who seemed to confuse running around, shrieking constantly and falling over with the more subtle art known as 'acting'.

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