Tag Archives: Lilac Yosiphon

The Glass Will Shatter

The Glass Will Shatter


Omnibus Theatre

The Glass Will Shatter


The Glass Will Shatter

Omnibus Theatre

Reviewed – 23rd January 2020



“Good writing and good theatre allow issues to be explored without spoon-feeding ideas”


In the year ending March 2019, 5,738 referrals were made to the UK’s anti-radicalisation programme, Prevent. The most common source of referrals was Education and one in ten were deemed worthy of further action through the de-radicalisation programme known as Channel. Finborough Theatre’s writer on attachment, Joe Marsh explores bias, community and the education system in Althea Theatre’s production of The Glass Will Shatter at the Omnibus Theatre, Clapham.

Told through a series of flashbacks, the play follows Rebecca (Josephine Arden), a middle-class, white, neurotic and former teacher as she attempts to overcome her recurring nightmares by addressing their source: a confrontation she had had with former pupil Amina (Naima Swaleh)- a second-generation Somali and aspiring rapper. Between the two sits the steadying presence of Jamilah (Alma Eno), now school principal, who has agreed to meet with Rebecca for a catch-up.

Although it gets off to a rocky start; seemingly due to an inherent problem with the setup – a series of stilted conversations in a coffee shop between the emotionally closed Rebecca and Jamilah, who haven’t met for years – “Are you sure you don’t want a coffee?”. Marsh has nonetheless written a beautiful and witty play that highlights the tragic combination of systematised programmes such as Prevent and the inherent bias and insecurities of the individuals encouraged to enact them.

Once properly underway, Director Lilac Yosiphon builds the pace cycling through the series of flashbacks with swift changes to the moveable set punctuated by short movement sequences. All of which was supplemented by Will Monks’ lighting design which employed striking laser projections through heavy stage smoke. The large glass window (that one feels must shatter, Chekovesque) at times captured and contained all of that smoke in a way reminiscent of the design for Debbie Tucker Green’s Ear for Eye.

Naima Swaleh provides an especially watchable performance as Amina; playing the confident street-kid foil to Rebecca’s neuroticism. Jamilah completed the triumvirate as the wise head between the two and showing that emotional intelligence counts for much in education, as it does in life. All of which builds to a satisfying and emotional denouement when Rebecca finally gets face to face with her (now long-since graduated) tormentor.

Good writing and good theatre allow issues to be explored without spoon-feeding ideas. I left the theatre with a very clear set of conclusions (both tragic and self-confronting) to the problems raised. However, such is the complexity and at times a nebulous subject, it’s entirely possible for another viewer to leave holding a different set of sympathies. That, above all, is much to the production’s credit.


Reviewed by Euan Vincent

Photography by Sam Elwin


The Glass Will Shatter

Omnibus Theatre until 8th February


Previously reviewed at this venue:
Hearing Things | ★★★★ | January 2019
The Orchestra | ★★★ | January 2019
Lipstick: A Fairy Tale Of Iran | ★★★ | February 2019
Tony’s Last Tape | ★★★★ | April 2019
Country Music | ★★★★ | May 2019
Othello: Remixed | ★★★★ | June 2019
Lone Star Diner | ★★★ | September 2019
Femme Fatale | ★★ | October 2019
Fiji | ★★★★★ | November 2019
The Little Prince | ★★★★ | December 2019


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Jericho’s Rose – 3.5 Stars


Jericho’s Rose

Hope Theatre

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


Jericho’s Rose

Hope Theatre until 3rd November


Previously reviewed at this venue:
My Gay Best Friend | ★★★★★ | January 2018
Foul Pages | ★★★ | February 2018
Moments / Empty Beds | ★★★★ | February 2018
My Evolution of the Cave Painting | ★★★★ | February 2018
Our Big Love Story | ★★ | March 2018
Cream Tea & Incest | ★★★★ | April 2018
Adam & Eve | ★★★★ | May 2018
Worth a Flutter | ★★ | May 2018
Cockamamy | ★★★★ | June 2018
Fat Jewels | ★★★★★ | July 2018
Medicine | ★★★ | August 2018
The Dog / The Cat | ★★★★★ | September 2018
The Lesson | ★★★★ | September 2018


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