Community project is Nottingham Playhouse’s “most ambitious yet”

Published: 16 February 2019

Up to 100 amateur performers are needed for Nottingham Playhouse’s “most ambitious community project yet”, a production based on Jamila Gavin’s novel Coram Boy.

The theatre is looking for anyone aged 12 and over—there is no upper age limit—to form the production’s acting ensemble, choir or both. Those taking part will get the chance to work alongside a cast of professional actors.

Coram Boy will be staged at the Albert Hall in Nottingham from 7 until 10 August 2019 and will be directed by the Playhouse’s artistic director, Adam Penford. He said, “the project was inspired by talking to someone who’d performed as part of the 2012 Olympics opening ceremony.

“It was clear they’d found the project a once-in-a-lifetime experience—fun, challenging and life-affirming. They described a profound sense of achievement and having made friends for life.

Coram Boy is an epic project that brings the same level of ambition and creativity to Nottingham. We want to bring together an ensemble that reflects the diversity of Nottingham in the broadest sense of the word. Absolutely no experience is necessary, just an enthusiasm and willingness to commit. It’s a unique chance to be a part of what should be a highlight of the cultural calendar this summer in Nottingham.”

The family saga is set in 1739 when Thomas Coram established his Foundling Hospital, a home for unwanted children. It tells the story of two Coram boys: Aaron, the illegitimate child of a wealthy heir, and Toby, who escaped an African slave ship. Heartbreak and redemption expose an era blighted by slavery and the ill-treatment of children.

Anyone can apply to take part in Coram Boy by completing an application at the Nottingham Playhouse web site by Sunday 10 March. Participants will have to commit to weekly evening rehearsals from May until July, evening technical and dress rehearsals and the performances.

Steve Orme