Productions – Cider with Rosie – July 2017 - Entertaining the people of Barford since 1945...

Cider with Rosie – July 13th, 14th and 15th 2017

Cider with Rosie story is an account of Laurie Lee’s childhood in the village of Slad, Gloucestershire, in the period soon after the First World War. It chronicles the traditional village life which disappeared with the advent of new developments, such as the coming of the motor car, and relates the experiences of childhood seen from many years later.

Cider with Rosie has been a favourite set text in English lessons in Britain since it was published in 1959. Like many a good literary biography, it reads quite like a novel, but records the early life of Laurie Lee who grew up in the years after the First World War. He lived in the beauty of a small Cotswold valley until he was twenty, his impressions also incidentally capture the final years of a deeply rural way of English life, now thoroughly gone. The village was poor, self-sufficient, and still rather feudal. The people were wild and superstitious, half Celtic and half Christian. Disease and hunger were no stranger, big families were common, and children often died young. The valley was no innocent place of country idylls and Laurie Lee compares their toughness to that of inner city London lads. As he grows up so does his story, including the famous cider with Rosie Burdock (not her real name). The identity of Rosie was revealed years later to be Lee’s distant cousin Rosalind Buckland. It is the first book of a trilogy that continues with: As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning (1969) and A Moment of War (1991).

The Barford Drama Group production of Cider with Rosie is based on the 1959 book by Laurie Lee, adapted for stage by James Roose-Evans. Roose-Evans faithfully recounts Laurie Lee’s gentle and beautifully touching story and the defining moments of his adolescent life, recalling glorious outings, frozen white winters, long hot, hazy summers, tyrannical teachers, erratic family life and of course that first cider-fuelled encounter.

The story is told using the combination of Lee’s memories as an older man (read by Terry Offiler) and Lee himself played by Guy Jesset (as a young boy and as a teenager) with both men appearing in the centre of the stage together at the end reciting the closing words: “It was then that I began to make up poems, hour after unmarked hour, while sisters called me, suns rose and fell, and the poems I made, which were never remembered, were the first and last of that time, I was never the same again.”

As ever any similarity to life in Barford is purely coincidental…!!!

Jan Bradley

Cast (in Alphabetical Order)
Spadge – Charles Barlow
Mrs Pimbury – Wendy Barlow
Squire – Mike Burman
Doth – Lorraine Evetts
Vicar – Chris Farr
Crabby B – Mary Geisler
Rosie – Joy Hawtin
Loll – Guy Jessett
Vincent / Uncle Sid – Ed Kirkby
Tony – Edward Mitchell
Mrs Davies – Philippa Mitchell
Jackie – Chris Murphy
Narrator – Terry Offiler
Phyll – Barbara Offiler
Miss Wardley – Roe Richardson
Granny Trill – Jane Scott
Marge – Carole Veness
Mr Davies – Gerard Veness
Granny Wallon – Gill Warne
Baroness / Jo – Anne Williams
Mother – Barbara Winstone

Crew and Extras
– Garth Foster
– Catherine Kime
– Sally Hallowell-Carew
– Sue Dunnett
– Nickie Hendry
– Sue Jessett
Lighting – Alan Fawcett
Music – Vickie Wood
Sound Effects – Wendy Barlow
Scenery Designer – Barbara Offiler
Scenery Assistant – Jo Burman
Costumes – Carole Veness
Bar – Rod Scott and Alex Farr
Snack Preparation – Ann Fawcett
Front of House – Anne Foster
Stills Photography – Nick Hawtin

2 Responses

  1. Andi Dodds says:

    Cider with Rosie was a delightful production, rich in bucolic charm and littered with clever production ideas. The interval repast was fully in keeping with the theme and very welcome. My daughter and I had a lovely evening and left smiling.

  2. Jennifer Down says:

    What another brilliant evening. Please pass on our thanks to Jan and all involved.
    Best wishes
    Max and Jenny

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