Treading the boards

since 1958...

Booking graphic for TODS
Skip navigation

Past Productions

Coram Boy by Adapted by Helen Edmundson based on Jamila Gavin's novel

Wed 1st to 4th February 2012

St Mildreds Church - Tenterden

Coram Boy by Jamila Gavin is a children’s novel that takes place in the mid-1700s. The plot follows three threads. The first is of “The Coram Man,” and his son Meshak, who murder and traffic illegitimate children under the guise of shepherding them to the Coram Hospital. The second is of Alexander, the son of a wealthy family who would rather become a musician than inherit the family estate. The last is of a mysterious, illegitimate boy who is brought up at Coram hospital.

The play is set in England during the mid 1700s, Coram Man is the disturbing story of a man and his son who do an evil thing. Otis Gardiner and his son, Meshak, are peddlers. When the Coram Hospital, an orphanage in London, opens, Otis finds another source of income. For a fee, he claims to take the children that mothers can no longer care for or that were born illegitimately to the hospital. However, he sells the older children into slavery and makes his son bury the babies alive.

Although his father thinks he is simpleminded and has no remorse for what he has done, Meshak can’t sleep for guilt. When Alexander Ashbrook and Melissa Milcote fall in love and have a son, Melissa’s mother tells them that the baby died, but she secretly gives him to Otis. This time, however, Meshak decides not to kill the child. He believes that Melissa is the angel he keeps seeing in his dreams, so he decides to protect her child. The baby is named Aaron, and Meshak watches over him and Toby, a young African boy whom Otis had planned to sell.


TODS staged this unique production is the suitably atmospheric St Mildreds Church in Tenterden.

In 2012 the Kent Echo reported on TODS successful nominations of 6 of their performers in the KDA Full length Play Awards for Coram Boy. The nominees were:-

Fraser Johnston – Best Actor

Natalie Cheese – Best Debut

Steph Clarke & Clare Crossley – Best Wardrobe

Steve Sivingto – Best Sound


Click for Programme CB