«ROSE», celebrating the work of disabled artists around Dorset theatres

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“ROSE – intoxicating scent, perfect, magnificent flowers, perfection…”

“ROSE – beware the thorns, they prick, they pierce, hard to control…”

El Ventanal de la Sierra 
Centro Comercial en Colmenar Viejo y comarca

Everything seems normal for Rose when she first starts school until her sight begins to fail and she struggles with physical disability. A special school seems the answer. She is talented and creative but she remains islolated in her teens. Then she meets the unconventional Mohican Matt. Does he lead her astray or will he put her on the path to success?

 

  • “ROSE” questions the system that let her down. It looks at the problems of coping with blindness and disability.
  • “An uplifting performance looking at the relationship of two young people”
  • Celebrating the work of disabled artists with funding from Arts Council England 

 

 

THE SHOW:

“Rose” is a 75 minute play suitable for performance in any studio or theatre space. It has universal appeal with particular relevance to those with disabilities or young adults. At first Rose appeared to be like any other infant until she first attended school. It became apparent that she was struggling, trying to gain attention, slow to learn. She was misunderstood and bullied. At the age of five, she is diagnosed with a genetic eye disease leading eventually to total blindness. Later in her teens, she is diagnosed with scoliosis and eventually confined to a wheelchair with severely limited movement.

Rose encounters further misunderstandings and bullying in a special school. She becomes isolated, frustrated and depressed until she befriends the unconventional Mohican Matt. With his piercings, tattoos and rebellious attitude, he seems an unlikely and dangerous combination. Where will it lead?

Writers, Christine Diment and Kitty Waldron have been developing and researching the script of “Rose” since early 2019. First performed in August 2019 at the Exeter Fringe Festival with funding from the Arts Council England, it received outstanding reviews in highlighting the general attitude to disability. It was seen as a sensitive and thought provoking portrayal of a young woman who is creative and talented but locked in by her disability and let down by the institutions that are meant to help her.

A performance of “Rose” in The White Room Studio, Salisbury Arts Centre October 2019

In October 2019 it was performed at Salisbury Arts Centre as part of the Salisbury Fringe Festival. This too, was a huge success performing to a full house and was selected for further development by Theatre West in Bristol and by the Lighthouse Centre for the Arts in Poole as part of their Sanctuary Scheme. The show is now ready to tour arts centres, theatres and venues in the South West. The Dorset Association for the Blind have already expressed interest and are partaking in workshops.

AUDIENCE COMMENTS:

“ Moving. Very believable characters”.

“Made me think about a situation that I had never paid attention to”.

“Engaging content with some very moving and sensitive moments»

THE WRITERS:

Christine Diment trained in theatre and drama and has been a teacher, an actor, a director and a writer. She met Kitty Waldron her collaborator, in Lyme Regis in 2017 at the Marine Theatre when running a workshop for writers. Having spotted her talent, Christine decided to work exclusively with Kitty on the “Rose Project”.

Christine Diment, author and producer of «ROSE»

Christine has written and directed plays throughout her career with groups of all ages. With background training at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, she has been involved with theatre training at Nottingham Playhouse and the National Theatre in youth schemes and production. She is present particularly focused on writing for theatre and has run numerous workshops locally.

WHY “ROSE”?

Christine Diment explains «I was inspired by Kate when I first met her at one of my writing workshops. Despite Kate’s total blindness and disability, I was instantly aware of her positive personality, her courage and her sense of humour. I was also acutely aware of the difficulties she has to face in life. Here was a budding writer – yet her voice was unheard. I immediately decided that we could do something about this».

The writer has spent a lot of time with Kate talking, writing and creating. «I wanted to write about her and the difficulties she had to overcome. She didn’t want it to be about herself (for personal reasons) but she was keen to create a character. So, Rose was born! We could base the character of Rose on some of Kate’s experiences but we could also create a story, another personality and introduce other characters. We chose the rose because of its “intoxicating scent, magnificent flowers, perfection…” but also its other qualities “…the thorns, they prick, they pierce, hard to control…”

Kate admitted to her two-sided nature: the one who loves to have fun, who wants to socialise, enjoy a drink and to do all the things that other young people enjoy. Then there is the one who gets frustrated, depressed, exhausted and withdrawn. When “ my head is in another place”. Since working on this project, “ I have stopped taking the anti-depressants” she says.

What better medicine can there be other than the power of theatre and reaching out to others?

 

Kitty Waldron (Kate Duncan), the soul and inspiration for «ROSE»

Kitty Waldron (Kate Duncan) lives in Lyme Regis and has had several of her stories and writing published. She shows exceptional talent and despite being blind and disabled, she has been able to develop her work extensively. In recent years, she has turned her attention to playwriting and has had one-act plays performed in Salisbury and Lyme Regis. She was keen to develop the play of “Rose” with Christine, providing valuable research, factual information and experiences based on her own condition. They work together as an excellent team.

Both Christine and Kitty are passionate about diversity and opportunity for all in theatre

 

THEATRE WEBSITES FOR “ROSE” TOUR 2023

The following websites now have information and booking details por de «ROSE» tour in March 2023 

www.dorchesterarts.org.uk/whats-on     
Thursday 9th March 2023       8pm
www.bridport-arts.com/whats-on
Tuesday 14th March 2023      7.30pm
www.marinetheatre.com/whats-on
Tuesday 21st March 2023      7.30pm
www.tauntonbrewhouse.co.uk/whats-on
Friday 24th March 2023         19.45
www.lighthousepoole.co.uk/whats-on
Thursday 30th March 2023     8pm
www.exeterphoenix.org.uk
Monday 3rd April 2023
(Pencilled in. Tbc by Christine Diment)