“Nostalgic romp through bygone era”
by Jill Lawrie for remotegoat on 06/11/08
‘Cider With Rosie’ is the narrative of Laurie Lee’s childhood in a Cotswold village soon after the First World War. Tracing his life through boyhood and early manhood, filling the senses with nostalgic romantic memories of a time long since passed, when meagre creature comforts and hard physical work were the order of the day, and yet embracing a great feeling of living in harmony with nature as well as forming deep and meaningful friendships.
The Director Stephanie Goodfellow has used a large cast of 30 to cover the 40 multi roles incorporating a good number of children too. Her skill in handling these numbers together with numerous scene changes, is to be congratulated.
This production begins in front of a stunning sky blue pink backdrop giving great visual silhouette effects of the two trees and initial entrance of the characters. Impressive front staging allowed flexibility for the large cast and the atmosphere is created by a delightful hand cart, variety of authentic stone jars, flagons and rustic props. A wonderful array of colourful costumes adding to the enchanting trip down memory lane.
Using several narrators to link the many scenes, stories and cameos together through the changing seasons as Laurie remembers this idyllic time, the strong influence his mother played as she held her family together, through adolescence and the famous experiences entitled ‘cider with Rosie’!, and on to his mother’s death and the emergence of the young poet.
Credit goes to the whole cast for their faithful portrayal of the slow evocative innocent pace of rural life, but special mention of Alex Martin who encapsulated the young Laurie Lee so admirably.