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Lymington Players' were fast-moving and entertaining with each character realistically brought to life by the talented cast.

WRITTEN in 1980, Andrew Davies' Rose is reminiscent of the BBC's 'kitchen sink' Wednesday plays which he wrote in the 1960s but luckily without the sombre content of most of those.

Lymington Players' rendition of the play was fast-moving and entertaining, each character realistically brought to life by the talented cast.

Newcomer to the company Louise Kenyon played the enthusiastic avant-garde teacher, keen to encourage her young pupils to express themselves in their own way. Opposite her was another first-timer, Jo Long, as the strict, stiff headmistress, Mrs Swale, who insisted that the children tow the lines she has set in stone. She is supposedly supported by her somewhat ambivalent deputy, Malpass, played by Kim Walker.

Ruth Wagstaffe was well grounded as Jo's well-meaning but rather demanding elderly mother, and Rachel Mackay was great fun as Rose's forthright best friend Sally, telling her things 'as they are'.

Guy Standley was the genial school inspector, Beam, who agrees with Rose's style of teaching and sweeps her off her feet, if only for one night.

Both Rose and Sally are unhappy with their failing marriages: Rose with her boring self-centred husband, Geoffrey, brilliantly acted by Martin Yarwood, and Sally with her uncaring alcoholic spouse, Jake (Alex Yarwood), a musician who spends all his time writing and playing music. Will they have the strength to take the next step in these relationships?

Sara Yarwood chose to direct this play because its great female roles would suit the 'fantastic actresses' in the company. She also 'roped in' two members of her family to fill a couple of roles due to a lack of volunteers at the time of allocating the parts. All in all this was an entertaining evening and I especially liked the assembly at the beginning when Mrs Swale is addressing the school and a chorus of unseen young voices reply.

Alison Smith

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