Original Theatre Company have led the way in producing high quality online productions during the pandemic. They swung into action quickly with the streaming of The Habit of Art, the Croft and Birdsong, all extremely well-presented plays and were very well received. Now Original Theatre Company have joined with writer Louise Coulthard who has adapted her play Watching Rosie for the digital audience.
Rosie (Louise Coulthard) is used to seeing her granny most days, but because of the pandemic she has been resigned to communicating digitally. Her granny Alice (Miriam Margolyes) is suffering with dementia and Rosie is worried about her being on her own, Alice’s husband Arthur died some years ago and she misses him terribly. Alice worries about her granddaughter as she does not have a partner and there is a wonderful moment when the Tesco delivery man comes to deliver her shopping and Alice gets to work trying to play matchmaker with Rosie and the delivery driver Cavan (Amit Shah). Directed by Michael Fentiman, this play takes a glance into the world of the dementia sufferer at a time when they cannot get access to their loved ones. The precarious world that they live in, drifting between moments of lucidity and at other times being completely lost in their own world. Coulthard’s writing and performance adds a warmth to a subject which is distressing for sufferers and their family, but the play also has humorous moments when Margolyes rather cheekily turns the table on Rosie and tries to fill what she perceives to be, a gap in her life living alone.
This short 15-minute play proves that good things really do come in small packages, and it lives up to Original Theatre’s previous digital work. A real joy to tune in to.
It also helps to throw a spotlight on the plight of dementia sufferers with a whopping 850,000 sufferers now in the UK. It is concerning that 120,000 dementia sufferers were living alone during the pandemic. 60% of the profits from the donations raised from this production will go to Dementia UK and the remaining 40% will go to Original Theatre Company, so please donate if you can by following the link https://originaltheatreonline.com/productions/3/watching-rosie, where you can sign up to watch the show for free and you can also donate.
Reviewer: Caroline Worswick
Reviewed: 19th August 2020
North West End UK Rating: ★★★★