Rose by Ben Atkinson and Helen Webster-Sudburough is a short original audio play recorded at the University of Lincoln, produced by Dreaming Tiger and available on the web from January 2012. In the spirit of trying to listen to more non-BBC audio drama, I gave this a whirl, fully aware it was a student production. Small-ish in scope, it was nevertheless quite a good, if bleak, little story. The small cast are a group of fairly accomplished amateur actors; as can be imagined, the older actors playing the Consultant and the Doctor are far more comfortable in the audio medium than those playing the middle-aged couple Catherine and Michael. The little girl playing the titular character, however, is very good.
Rose is well-edited and quite proficient with scene transitions (most of them effected by the recurrence of the bittersweet theme tune, played on a music box or celeste). The sound effects are extremely sharp, such as the sounds of Catherine grinding up sleeping pills in the penultimate scene, or the grating sounds of the constantly ringing home phone. Though the frame story for Rose is that of Sleeping Beauty, its subject is a modern one. At heart, it focuses on the devastating consequences of modern parenting, looking hauntingly at having children during middle-age and the IVF process. Quite frankly, it’s rather talked me out of ever having kids!
I think Dreaming Tiger should definitely continue in this vein and build upon the generally good work they have been able to achieve with Rose.