The thing about a rose is that, as beautiful as it may be to look at and as delightful as it may be to smell, its thorns cut deeply and make you bleed.
For many reasons, this welcome revival of Rose at HOME may be one of the theatrical highlights of the year. It’s written by Martin Sherman, the author of the magnificent Bent, and stars the Oscar nominated Dame Janet Suzman in a rare return to the stage. Essentially a monologue, the play offers a great actress the chance to soar.
80 year old Rose looks back at her life throughout the 20th century from her childhood in the Ukraine, being a young woman in the Warsaw ghettos and the horrors which touched her, and her subsequent life in America. Her story is that of many Jewish immigrants, something reflected in her observation that one of Judaism’s greatest contributions to life is asking questions which have no answers.
This is an observation of a life lived in an historical context. It is charming, funny and desperately sad. Perhaps the most depressing thing about Rose is that immigration, through both conflict and economics, is still so prevalent, making it a play which is as impactful now as it was when first performed in 1999.
The play, much like a rose itself, is a thing of beauty. But when it cuts, the wounds take a very long time to heal.