The Rose of Jericho

Alex Martinez

Theatre Ortas

theSpace @ Surgeons Hall

From 01 August 2014 to 23 August 2014

Rating: *****

Review by Graeme Strachan

Stepping onstage with a vigorous swagger and barely suppressed levels of energy, Kevin Hely opens The Rose of Jericho by urinating against a wall, then launching into a self-deprecating tale of his life.

It's an occasionally funny and often shocking story of abuse, violence and deep-rooted fear and anger at the world, moving from a youth spent cowering from an abusive father to an adolescent smeared in illicit, meaningless sex and drink before growing to a man, lost to himself in the military machinery.

The play is a tour-de-force of entrancingly captivating story, moving and frightening by turns.

Kevin Hely is sublime as the emotionally volatile and tautly restrained ex-soldier, looking back on his youth and upbringing with a hint of guilty shame and a festering pain in the depths of his eyes.

His subtle underplaying of the role raises the piece above the parapets of mediocrity into brilliance.