Maureen's Rose for three days only

Published: 11 September 2020
Reporter: David Upton

Maureen Lipman as Rose

Maureen Lipman stars in an online revival of Martin Sherman’s Rose streamed for three days only online this weekend.

It comes courtesy of Manchester’s Hope Mill Theatre in support of Age UK, The Fed, and UK Jewish Film.

A sharply-drawn portrait of a feisty Jewish woman blends the personal with the political as it traces Rose’s story from the devastation of Nazi-ruled Europe to conquering the American dream.

A one-woman tour-de-force by Martin Sherman (Bent, 1979), it was nominated for an Olivier when premièred at the National in 1999. This new production, directed by Scott Le Crass in collaboration with Sherman, is a moving reminder of some of the harrowing events that shaped the century. It remains sadly relevant amid racial tensions, and when antisemitism is rife.

Taking on the role made famous by Olympia Dukakis, Lipman is a woman shaped by history. She offers an intimate and, at times, humorous account of the 20th century, and the ultimate triumph of humanity.

Rose reflects on what it means to be a survivor. Her remarkable life began in a tiny Russian village, took her to Warsaw's ghettoes and aboard The Exodus, and finally to the boardwalks of Atlantic City, the Arizona canyons, and salsa-flavoured nights in Miami beach.

Lipman said, “I always wanted to play Rose but this is the first time I have been available—if you call working on Coronation Street at the same time as learning 45 pages of dialogue availability. It gives me a thrill to think I will be doing it for a cause as great as the future of the Hope Mill Theatre.”