Entertainment, Lifestyle, Manchester, Review

Review: Dame Janet Suzman as Rose at HOME, Manchester

0 141

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Your email address will not be published.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:

  • Hello Cosmos: Psychedelic Post-Punk for an Interstellar Frontier

    By Daniel Broadley  Who said punk is dead? People have been repeating the mantra since 1978, but maybe it never died. Or, maybe it did and was reincarnated through an interstellar wormhole in the form of Hello Cosmos and their trippy new single ‘Frequency Fields’. As part of the new seven-track EP Run For President which…

  • Review: The Nico Project | Manchester International Festival

    By David Keyworth Maxine Peake enters Stoller Hall through one of the oak-panelled doors, to the side of the audience. She is wearing a long black coat. When she walks on stage she seems to have forgotten her lines and she speaks in her natural Lancashire accent. The stage is full of wind and string instruments…

  • Film Review: Loopers: The Caddie’s Long Walk

    By Alexander Garvey Holbrook The creakiest aphorism about golf is that it is a good walk spoiled. I cannot say that I am the biggest fan myself. From racist and antisemitic country clubs to awful fashion sense and the ecological fallout of terraforming golf courses in the middle east, golf’s image has never appealed to…

  • Lady Gaga Launches New Makeup Brand, Haus Laboratories

    By Shawna Healey Musician, actor, and now makeup brand owner are all titles Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, better known as Lady Gaga, now has under her belt. Speaking to Rachel Strugatz at the Business of Fashion (BoF), Lady Gaga opened up about her new business venture, Haus Laboratories. The brand will be available for preorder from July…