Academy Award nominee Dame Janet Suzman to star in major UK revival

Home has announced the first UK revival of Martin Sherman’s Rose.  The award-winning play premiered at the National Theatre in London in 1999.

From her home in Miami, USA, eighty-year-old Rose takes us on a journey through her long and tumultuous life, a life marked by oppression, displacement, suffering and survival.  A life which begins in the shtetls of Eastern Europe and continues through Nazi-occupied Poland, British Mandate Palestine, America, Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories. An epic in miniature, Rose tells the extraordinary story of a century – with warmth and humour – directly through the eyes of one remarkable woman.

Janet Suzman, commented: “This anarchic, agnostic tearaway got to me when I read Martin Sherman’s terrific play. Rose’s ironical self-awareness, her independence of spirit, her fierce instinct for survival is the story we all want to hear about the human spirit at its bravest. In the end she finds a moral purpose to a life forged in an immoral world. I salute Rose and her like.”

Suzman has enjoyed a successful career starting at the Royal Shakespeare Company, culminating in a memorable Cleopatra in 1973/4. Her performance as Empress Alexandra in Nicholas and Alexandra (1972) earned both Golden Globe and Academy Award nominations for Best Actress. Suzman has starred in a wide range of work including plays by Fugard, Pinter, Ibsen, Chekhov, Harwood, and has twice been the recipient of the Evening Standard Award for Best Actress.

The play will be directed by Richard Beecham, whose production of Arthur Miller’s rarely performed Holocaust epic, Playing for Time (2015), starring Dame Sian Phillips at the Sheffield Crucible, garnered rave reviews.  Beecham added “Rose strikes me as a play for our times. Written on the cusp of the millennium as an epitaph to the 20th century, this play about the refugee experience, about anti-Semitism and xenophobia, about the conflict in Israel/Palestine, about America as a safe haven for the persecuted, looks forward to our 21st century world in a frighteningly prescient way. It does so with real insight, bravura storytelling and a mordant sense of humour and I am delighted to be working with the extraordinary Janet Suzman to bring Rose alive for audiences today.”

There will be a post-show discussion with Janet Suzman and Richard Beecham on Thursday 8 June.

Rose is performed at Home from 25 May until 10 June 2017.

image of Janet Suzman – courtesy Simon Annand