Original Theatre Company’s recent critically acclaimed, innovative online production of Rachel Wagstaff’s adaptation of Sebastian Faulks’s best-selling novel Birdsong has spurred the company on to produce another online production while theatres remain closed to live performances. Watching Rosie is a specially commissioned short play by Louise Coulthard based on her debut play, Cockamamy, which won the Lustrum Award for Outstanding New Play at The Edinburgh Fringe 2017. The production will star BAFTA-winning actress Miriam Margolyes, Amit Shah and Louise Coulthard and will be directed by Michael Fentiman.
Watching Rosie is a tender portrayal of experiencing dementia in lockdown and the power of love to overcome it. This heartbreaking and hilarious film highlights the incredible bond between Alice (Miriam Margolyes) and her granddaughter Rosie (Louise Coulthard) as they face change, confusion and an unexpected arrival from Tesco.
Watching Rosie will be released free-of-charge at 7pm on Thursday 6 August at OriginalTheatreOnline.com and will be available until 30 September. Donations are encouraged in support of Dementia UK.
Original Theatre Company’s Artistic Director, Alastair Whatley, said, “We are thrilled to be announcing Watching Rosie today. I greatly admired the play on stage and have really enjoyed working with Louise and Mike [Fentiman] to develop it for online audiences. I am very proud of the Original Theatre team, who have kept working throughout lockdown, adapting and diversifying our work and, in so doing, reaching a brand new online audience which is extending all over the world.”
Miriam Margolyes said, “I wanted to be in this film for two reasons. I loved the script and liked the character I’m playing. And it’s a challenge to try a new way of doing things – Zoom is a challenge – and it’s good to be professionally challenged at 79.”
Major film credits during Miriam Margolyes’s long and celebrated career include Yentl, Little Shop of Horrors, I Love You To Death, Scorsese’s The Age of Innocence (BAFTA for Best Supporting Actress), Istvan Szabo’s Being Julia and Ladies in Lavender. Miriam was Professor Sprout in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets and Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows (part II). She was the voice of the Matchmaker in Mulan and Fly, the mother dog, in Babe. Most memorable TV credits include Old Flames, Freud, Life and Loves of a She Devil, Blackadder, The Girls of Slender Means, Oliver Twist, The History Man and Vanity Fair. In 2016, Miriam joined an all-star cast in The Real Marigold Hotel and the sequel The Real Marigold On Tour. Stage credits include Madame Morrible in both the London and Broadway productions of Wicked, Miss Prism in Peter Hall’s production of The Importance of Being Earnest (Brooklyn Academy of Music), The Vagina Monologues, Peter Hall’s productions of Romeo & Juliet (Los Angeles), She Stoops to Conquer and Orpheus Descending (London) and her own award-winning, one-woman show, Dickens’ Women, performed at Festivals in Edinburgh, London, Sydney, Jerusalem, Santa Cruz, USA, New York City, Boston and all over India. More recently, she starred as Nell in Theatre du Complicité’s West End production of Beckett’s Endgame, for which she won the WhatsOnStage Award for Best Supporting Actress.
Amit Shah can currently be seen starring as Marcus in the BBC1 comedy The Other One. Other credits include the role of Torque in the new Netflix epic The Witcher, Dr Rendal in His Dark Materials for BBC/HBO, Steve in Ordinary Love alongside Lesley Manville and Liam Neeson, which premiered at last year’s London Film Festival, Andy in Paul Feig’s feature Last Christmas, the role of Samir in Johnny English 3 alongside Emma Thompson, the role of Dr Khan opposite Claire Foy and Andrew Garfield in feature film Breathe directed by Andy Serkis and the role of Mansur in DreamWorks’ The Hundred Foot Journey, produced by Steven Spielberg and Oprah Winfrey. Amit’s recent regular roles in television include Channel 4’s hit series Crashing penned by Phoebe Waller-Bridge, BBC dark comedy Stag and BBC1 comedy Hospital People.
Louise Coulthard was nominated for Best Actress at the 2018 Off West End Awards for her performance in her debut play Cockamamy. For Original Theatre Company, Louise played Viv in last year’s tour of The Night Watch and Cecily in the 2018 tour of The Importance of Being Earnest.
Watching Rosie will be directed by Michael Fentiman, edited by Tristan Shepherd, with music by Barnaby Race.
Michael Fentiman’s more recent credits include Amélie the Musical (The Other Palace/Watermill Theatre/UK Tour – nominated for Olivier Award for Best New Musical), Valued Friends (Original Theatre Company/Rose Theatre Kingston), The Importance of Being Earnest (Vaudeville Theatre), Loot (Park Theatre/Watermill Theatre) and The Taming of the Shrew, Titus Andronicus and Ahasverus (Royal Shakespeare Company).
Editor Tristan Shepherd is an award-winning filmmaker, who most recently completed work on the online release of Birdsong. He predominately works in theatre content and narrative film. He co-founded production company, Take Cover Films in 2012. Theatre credits include Once the Musical (UK Tour), The Mousetrap (St. Martin’s Theatre), Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (Apollo Theatre), Matilda (Cambridge Theatre), Motown the Musical (Shaftesbury Theatre), Hairspray (UK Tour) and Crazy for You (UK Tour). Film credits include The Outside In, Among Sweet Flowers and Shades, The Roof, #Haters and A Thousand Empty Glasses.
The online production of Watching Rosie is produced by Original Theatre Company.
Because of the success of the online production of Birdsong, Original Theatre Company is delighted to announce a second limited release, for anyone who missed it the first time round, from 7pm on Thursday 16 July until 11.59pm on Sunday 19 July via OriginalTheatreOnline.com.