Description - Coram Boy by Jamila Gavin
The National Theatre's 2005 Christmas show: an expert dramatisation of this Whitbread Children's Book Award-winner. A fitting follow-up to "His Dark Materials", Jamila Gavin's Whitbread Award-winning "Coram Boy", set in the 18th century, is a tale of two cities - Gloucester and London - and of two boys: Toby, saved from an African slave ship, and Aaron, illegitimate heir to a great estate. Also a tale of fathers and sons: slave-trader Otis and his son Meshak; and landowner Sir William Ashbrook and the son he disinherits. This is the story where the National Theatre has chosen its Christmas show on its biggest stage: last occupied at this time of year by His Dark Materials. Cleverly, they have also chosen Helen Edmundson to adapt it, who has already fashioned magnificent plays out of "The Mill on the Floss", "Anna Karenina" and "War and Peace". The result - with a cast of twenty and sumptuous sets and costumes - is set fair to be another box-office smash.
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Nick Hern Books
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Author Biography - Jamila Gavin
Jamila Gavin was born in India of an Indian father and English mother, but spent part of her childhood in Shepherd's Bush. She joined the BBC and started writing in 1979. Books include The Magic Orange Tree, Monkey in the Stars, which she also dramatised, The Surya Trilogy, all of which were short-listed for the Guardian Children's Fiction Award, and The Blood Stone. She lives in Stroud. (www.jamilagavin.co.uk) Helen Edmundson's breakthrough came in 1992 with her award-winning adaptation of Anna Karenina for Shared Experience, for whom she also adapted The Mill on the Floss. Both productions were twice revived and extensively toured. Her adaptation of War and Peace was staged at the National Theatre (1996) and of Mary Webb's Gone to Earth by Shared Experience (2004).