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Chichester Festival Theatre

May 2024
Direction: Anna Ledwich
Designer: Simon Higlett
Lighting Designer: Emma Chapman
Composer & Sound Designer: Max Pappenheim

Musical Director: Stephen Higgins
Movement Director: Chi-San Howard

Fight & Intimacy Director: Bethan Clark

Photos by Manuel Harlan

“Emma Chapman’s lighting suffuses everything from ballroom brightness, to candle-lit evensong, to tenebrous scoops of makeshift graveyard. At one point a greenish underwater tinge sheets over three characters. These moments are as keenly-lit as a Hogarth, one of the Coram Hospital’s benefactors, and Chapman is as good a storyteller as Ledwich and Higlett.”

Simon Jenner, Plays International 

“The production looks gorgeous, with Simon Higlett’s two-tiered set, with a suggestion of organ pipes and cathedrals, both offering a perch for the musicians and also framing the action with painterly gravity, much helped by Emma Chapman’s lustrous lighting design which creates a world of shadows and sudden blasts of light.”

Sarah Crompton, Whats On Stage 

“Simon Higlett's set-design, incorporating an upper-level, with the musicians at one end, combines grandeur with intimacy. And Ledwich shows a painterly eye for beautiful stage composition, lighting and shadows stirring otherworldliness and intrigue. The moments where Otis' hulking son Meshak (Aled Gomer) is seized by fits and the ensemble freezes or slows around him are particularly effective.”

Dominic Cavendish, The Daily Telegraph

“Emma Chapman demonstrates a painterly eye with a lush, richly atmospheric lighting design that picks out tiny scenes among zones of deep shadow. Candlelit rooms are filled with tiny pinpricks of light. Outdoor locations are gilded by descending beams of gold. And a cold haze of ghostly blue spreads during dreams and nightmares..”

Dave Fargnoli, The Stage

Simon Higlett’s magnificent double height set dominates the stage providing ample scope to depict the variety of required locations.  A muted colour palette for the stunning costumes, innovative lighting and all shot through with exquisite music, guarantee a rich and atmospheric ambience for this production..”

Jill Lawrie, Theatre South East

“And Emma Chapman’s lighting serves both set and story well, never afraid of darkness, but in saying that never leaving we the audience straining to see. .”

Andrew Kay, The Latest 


“Emma Chapman's exceptionally evocative and moody lighting design”

Martin Thomasson, Quays Life

“The lighting design (by Emma Chapman) is beautiful and really helps to distinguish between settings.

It conjures up lavish candelabras of ballrooms and the dankness of deck prisms on a slave ship easily

Connor Cooper, I love Manchester

“The murky survive-or-die atmosphere of London and Gloucester docks was darkly and atmospherically evoked by the use of stage lighting by Emma Chapman and tonal changes by composer and sound designer, Max Pappenheim

David Keyworth, Weekend Notes

“In a world of contemporary reimaginings and big budget spectacles, it is somewhat rare these days to see a more traditional piece presented so simply and so beautifully. Everything about Anna Ledwich's production is exceptional. The staging so smooth and fluid. Simon Higlett's designs magnificent. A haunting, wood-framed set; Georgian period costumes elegantly crafted; candlelight chiaroscuro lighting so rich and atmospheric. Every frame simply exquisite. So wonderfully evocative and painterly. A theatre photographer's dream. 


With superb performances, sumptuous designs and intelligent direction, Coram Boy is one of the most beautiful and visually stimulating productions you are likely to see. Get down to The Lowry and do support this thrilling revival. You won't be disappointed.” 

The Arts Shelf

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