3 Stars ***
Hywel John’s new play Rose is a story of a Middle Eastern father struggling to raise his daughter.
Arthur (Art Malik), hospitalised from a stroke, is visited by his daughter Rose(Keira Malik). The play continually cuts from the hospital to the flat where she and her dad (sharing a room) lived. Each time we return to the flat we see how Arthur, determined to embrace Englishness, is doing so in order to escape his own past.
He teaches her life lessons while also, bit by bit, revealing more and more of what happened to her mother. This leads to both character’s facing their origins and the truth of who they are, with a sad twist at the end.
Art and Keira Malik’s performances are the centre of the play. They deliver generously and play the relationship with conviction.
Art Malik delivers fine speeches and bold characterisation and Keira Malik while difficult as a child in the opening stages, develops as she grows older to contrast with her father and give him real opposition.
The set is the hospital and at times, with such a clinical setting struggled to imagine it as a flat, but this has stronger relevance towards the end of the play.
Well worth seeing for Art and Keira Malik.
Reviewed by Andrew Gourlay