Review: Jericho’s Rose, Hope Theatre

A striking look at immigration and dementia, Jericho’s Rose brings the loop pedal and no little invention to the Hope Theatre

“If you’ve forgotten
And I can’t remember
How will we ever know?”

There’s no place like home; wherever I lay my hat that’s my home; home is where the heart is; you can never go home again – from Judy Garland to Maya Angelou, everyone has something to say about home. And we can add Lilac Yosiphon to that list, as her striking show Jericho’s Rose takes up residency at the Hope Theatre.

Formally adventurous and deeply felt, Yosiphon explores this notion of home from two key perspectives. Her own as an artist trying to put down roots in London but finding something of a hostile environment as she applies for a visa, and her grandfather’s as he comes to terms with the ravages of Alzheimer’s. In such an uncertain world, can anywhere be considered home?

Produced by Althea Theatre and co-directed by Yosiphon with Mike Cole and Annie-Lunnette Deakin-Foster, Jericho’s Rose is full of artistic ambition. Movement combines with ethereal projections (Will Monks), repetitive prose duels with loop pedalling, the act of remembering simultaneously becomes a chore, as the realities of caring for someone with dementia are hammered home, but also a comfort against those ravages, as a buffer to an unfeeling world.

Sam Elwin’s musical contributions point to the importance of music in memory but also provides an interesting texture as they’re used as sound effects too, a technique that might be worth some further exploration. And though the abstract nature of much of what happens is powerfully wrought, the reliance on repetition does bring an incongruous neatness to the end which isn’t needed. We already know there isn’t going to be a Hollywood ending. Fascinating stuff. 

Running time: 75 minutes (without interval)
Photos: Lidia Crisafulli
Jericho’s Rose is booking at the Hope Theatre until 3rd November

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