The task of making sure that Rosehill Theatre can remain a local theatre of national importance is relished by its present director, Richard Elder, who is proving a genius to attracting brilliant performers many of whom he has recruited after listening to their performances at the Edinburgh Fringe.
The latest success story was John Peel’s Shed, on 9th February. Let Alison Cowen tell you what it was like:
“My daughter, Mum, Dad and me went to see John Peel’s Shed at the Rosehill, Whitehaven. I liked John Peel and I was a fan of some of the more obscure music he would play on his show so I was optimistic I would also enjoy it.
When we went to our seats all that was on the stage was a comfy chair, an overhead projector, a record player and various records scattered about on the stage and of course John Osborne, pint in hand.
He wasn’t the most confident of people, slightly awkward on the stage, admitting during the show how shy he was, but this made it all the more charming. He simply told the story of his love of radio and he had the audience in stitches as he recalled some of the funny stories he had heard listening to his radio. He told us about a girl called Poppy whom everyone in his office fancied. After sharing stories of music with her was determined to ask her to a gig, only on the day he was really, finally going to do it he was sacked and was never to see her again. You could tell by the massive groan at the end when he told us he was sacked that the whole audience was behind him egging him on. We were there with him the entire way, through all his stories, with tears in our eyes and a lump in our throats when he told us he’d heard that John Peel had died.
The way John Osborne had the audience entranced, simply through his script must make him a genius and the show was a great tribute not just to him but to John Peel and, of course, radio! Our only disappointment was when it finished. We could have listened for hours.”