Entertainment, Lifestyle, Manchester, Review

Review: Dame Janet Suzman as Rose at HOME, Manchester

0 184

Humanity Hallows Issue 6 Out Now
Pick up your copy on campus or read online


Charlie Jordin reviews one-actor play Rose, starring Dame Janet Suzman and now showing at HOME, Manchester

By Charlie Jordin

Image: HOME


The production begins with an old woman sitting on a white bench; the set is minimalistic, the audience’s attention totally on the woman. She is sitting Shiva, a Jewish practice for mourning a loved one. She begins to tell us about her life, starting from her humble childhood to falling in love and having a child, to the Nazi invasion which left her destitute in a ghetto. The audience observe as she analyses her Jewish identity and reminisces through her life, a lifetime which involved some of the most horrendous events of the 20th century.

Dame Janet Suzman plays Rose, the central figure in the play. She is the sole character and her presence overwhelms the stage; no other actors are needed. This creates an overpowering intimacy with the audience- it is as if she is speaking directly to each member of the audience. Her performance as the solitary character is astounding. She manages to judge each situation perfectly, combining moments of grief and anger as well as genuine humour and warmth with a unique flourish. Rose’s journey through her tumultuous life is fascinating; her life emphasises that each individual person has a story to tell. Rose is not a faceless figure in a crowd but a vibrant, remarkable woman. The play celebrates life whilst also mourning the lives lost during terrible events.

The minimalistic set is matched with simple lighting and effects. There is little musical accompaniment which means sound is used for significant effect only. The stage moves towards and away from the audience, furthering the sense of intimacy whilst the minimal set design means the attention is completely on Rose.

Rose is more than a refugee; she is a lover, a mother and a survivor. The scenario is particularly resonant today with the refugee crisis and countless innocent deaths occurring every day in warzones; each survivor or victim of an atrocity has their own story to tell.

Rose is at HOME until the 10th June. For more information and tickets, visit the HOME website.

About the author / 

Charlie Jordin

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More News Stories:

  • Cast of Riverdale pay heartfelt tribute to actor Luke Perry in new season

    By Shawna Healey The cast of Riverdale paid a heartfelt tribute to fellow actor Luke Perry’s untimely death in the first episode of season four, which aired last week. Perry, aged 52, also known for his role in 90210, died from a stroke in his LA home on the 4th of May this year. He was mourned by…

  • Opinion: We’ve been fed a destructive view of the East, and it’s time to change

    By Afzal Khan When you think of the Eastern world, what immediately comes to mind? Do you picture stunning Lawrence of Arabia-esque sand dunes as far as the eye can see? How about a turban-clad Arab waving a scimitar around and screaming “Death to America”? Or, do you picture weird and wonderful food such as…

  • Manchester students call for Gandhi statue to be scrapped

    Manchester City Council have agreed to erect a statue of Mahatma Gandhi outside Manchester Cathedral Shrimad Rajchandra Mission have said the statue would “recognise Manchester’s compassion” after the Manchester Arena attack in May 2017 The statue is set to be be unveiled on the 25th November Students have published an open letter addressing Manchester City…