Reviewed – 18th October 2018
“The musical element of the production is excellent and really complements the movement and dialogue performed”
One grandfather, one granddaughter, originally from Tel Aviv. The grandfather is suffering from Alzheimer’s and can’t seem to remember where home is, whereas the granddaughter’s UK visa is near expiration, meaning she is uncertain of where to call home. Althea Theatre’s Jericho’s Rose explores what happens when two generations struggle to work out where they belong in the world.
When the audience first enters the small performance space, Lilac Yosiphon (performer, as well as writer and co-director) is already on stage. She is walking around the space with a suitcase and passport, as if confused and unsure of her destination. We are immediately engaged and curious as to how her story is going to unfold.
Yosiphon takes on the role of the granddaughter, Jasmine, and grandfather, switching between the two quite seamlessly, with the aid of musical cues and voice recordings of the opposite role. Music is composed and performed by Sam Elwin, who is based at the side of the stage and makes use of loop-pedalled sound. The musical element of the production is excellent and really complements the movement and dialogue performed. As Elwin himself notes, most of the music was composed during rehearsals, allowing him to respond to moments as they occurred, as well as contribute to the generation of new moments.
In terms of movement, Yosiphon never merely walks around the performance space. Her abstract, physical theatre style movements work well and add to the clear sense of bewilderment experienced by both granddaughter and grandfather. Lighting Design and Projection by Will Monks, further adds to this and we, as audience members, can really feel as though we are stepping into the minds of these troubled individuals.
Jericho’s Rose is a fast-paced piece of theatre. Fragmented by nature, you may need to hold concentration more than you would during a more straightforward production, to fully keep track of what is going on and stay engaged. The piece could also most likely be condensed down, whilst still delivering what it has set out to deliver. However, if you want to see something abstract, surprising and delivered by talented performers, you should see Jericho’s Rose.
Reviewed by Emily K Neal
Photography by Lidia Crisafulli
Hope Theatre until 3rd November
Previously reviewed at this venue: