Opened 7 Dec 2006
Written: adapted by Helen Edmundson, from a novel by Jamila Gavin
Directed: Melly Still
Synopsis: A tale of two cities: Gloucester and London.A tale of two orphans at the Coram Hospital for Deserted Children: Toby, saved from an African slave ship and Aaron, the abandoned son of the heir to a great estate. A tale of fathers and sons, set in the dark heart of 18th-century England. An epic adventure filled with danger and excitement.
What the critics had to say.....
FIONA MOUNTFORD for THE EVENING STANDARD says, "a Christmas cracker...busy from the start with novel-compressing short, sharp bursts of action on an ever-moving revolve, attains transcendence." ALASTAIR MACAULAY for THE FINANCIAL TIMES says, "There are many good things in Helen Edmundson’s adaptation...At every point, the story is clear and often gripping." LYN GARDNER for THE GUARDIAN says, "Beautifully acted by a large cast, and exquisitely sung by a choir, this is a deeply satisfying evening that celebrates parent-child love and reminds us that our children do not belong to us, they belong only to themselves." SUSAN ELKIN for THE STAGE says, "This arresting, sumptuous, fast-moving production is one of the most powerful pieces of theatre I’ve seen in a long time. I cried, laughed and gasped - sometimes within a single minute." CHARLES SPENCER for THE DAILY TELEGRAPH says, "Just as special, just as moving, the second time around...Melly Still directs a beautifully fluent and uncluttered production that handles the complex narrative with clarity and panache...This is not a show for the excessively squeamish, or children under 12, but I suspect almost everyone else will be bowled over by its power and humanity." BENEDICT NIGHTINGALE for THE TIMES says, "Engrossing...bold, robust and never the least prurient or morbid."
Production photos by Catherine Ashmore