Cider With Rosie at the Spring, Havant

Sam Sampson as Lol and Lauren Haskett as Rosie. Picture: Russell Blitz
Sam Sampson as Lol and Lauren Haskett as Rosie. Picture: Russell Blitz
Grimm's Fairy Tales for Young and Old. Hal Darling as The Wolf, Emily Wells as Little Red Riding Hood. Photo by Paul Inskip

REVIEW: Grimm’s Tales For Young and Old by Chichester Festival Youth Theatre

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HumDrum return to The Spring in Havant next week with a Laurie Lee perennial favourite, Cider With Rosie – but the production hasn’t been all plain sailing.

Director Caz Gilmore has had casting issues around the title role.

Laurie Lee’s like Dylan Thomas, he paints pictures with words and they resonate with people on all sorts of levels

Caz Gilmore

‘Oh, nobody’s fault’, she explains, ‘just circumstance.

‘After starting rehearsals, my first Rosie was told by her work that they were sending her away the week of the show and my second Rosie hasn’t been well.It was only three weeks ago that we managed to get someone in to play the part.’

That ‘someone’ is Lauren Haskett, who studied at Portsmouth College, graduating with a diploma in Performing Arts, and who has appeared locally with both One Off Productions and The Phoenix Players.

‘I’ve been performing since I was seven’, says 19-year-old Lauren.

‘I’d just finished doing Out Of Focus with Phoenix when HumDrum contacted me to ask if I could do Rosie.

‘The short rehearsal period is a bit intimidating, but while Rosie is the title character, it’s not a huge part.

‘That said, Rosie isn’t the only part I will be playing in this production.

‘It’s very much an ensemble piece with everyone playing multiple roles.’

The play is an account of Lee’s childhood in the village of Slad, Gloucestershire in the period soon after the First World War.

Playing the author, Laurie Lee, is Guide Award-runner-up Sean Fisher and playing his younger self is Sam Sampson.

Caz chose Cider With Rosie because, like many, she read the book at school.

Re-reading it as an adult she was struck by the humanity of the text and Lee’s creative use of the language.

‘He’s like Dylan Thomas, he paints pictures with words and they resonate with people on all sorts of levels’.

HumDrum perform at The Spring from Wednesday, June 24 to Saturday, June 28 at 7.30pm with a Saturday matinee at 2.30pm. Tickets £8-9, call (023) 9247 2700 or visit thespring.co.uk