Thursday, February 22, 2007
Theatre: Coram Boy
I overheard one woman leaving the theatre tonight complaining that she had just seen a three hour epic about infanticide and pedophilia. Well that was partly what Coram Boy is about. It is based on a bestselling (and award-winning) novel set in the eighteenth century.
It starts out telling the tale of a man who for a fee takes away unwanted babies and promises to take them the Foundling Hospital. It becomes quickly evident that he is working for his own profit. Soon little graves are found everywhere...
There begins an epic tale full of spectacle and the music of Handel. Even with a dark tale as this, there is a lot to enjoy over the three hours and it is not surprising both of its runs have been sellouts (and popular with young people).
The music of Handel (and additional music in the style of Handel) underscores the drama and it helps overlook some of the more convenient turns in the plot. In a way it was a shame that more music wasn't used.
What is particularly interesting is the backstory about the Foundling Hospital, its connection to Handel and the relevance a story about people trafficking has in modern London.