What is it that defines our home? Is it the things around us? The memories of a place? The people? The feeling of belonging? And do these things stay the same – or is where we call home a changing place?
Jericho’s Rose is a fascinating exploration of what it means to call a place home – and what it is to remember a place as home. Through a dual narrative of Yasmine, a writer who wants to succeed in London and her grandpa, a former writer living in Tel Aviv and suffering dementia, the meaning of home is questioned and pulled apart.
That’s a big subject already, but Lilac Yosiphon (writer and performer) goes one step further in delving into dementia and demonstrating the infuriating and maddening pull this disease has on all of those around.
“Where are we?” “Where do you live?” the straining, draining repetitive nature of grandpa’s questions are enough to drive you mad, which is the point. And it’s well made. Jericho’s Rose demonstrates with frightening accuracy how loved ones are dragged into the morbid inaneness of repetition over and over again…until you feel you are going slightly mad. And you want it to stop, but as the Doctor says: “There is no cure. This is a disorder that cannot be reordered.”
And even if this show makes you feel uncomfortable, it is compelling. Yosiphon is a mesmerising solo performer with a plasticine face that contorts in every emotion imaginable, and she holds you throughout as she dives and dips and throws herself about the stage in the midst of her life, as she lives it, tests it and tries to enjoy it.
You want her to succeed. You want there to be a happy ending. For there to be an ending. Grandpa will never recover; we all know that. But we hope for hope’s sake.
Jericho’s Rose is a brave and pioneering piece that gets under your skin. It will annoy you, worry you, bother you and question you. And at the end you will go home, look around and ask yourself: Is this my home? http://www.thehopetheatre.com/productions/jerichos-rose/
Reviewer: Samantha Collett
Reviewed: 18th October 2018
North West End Rating: ★★★★