Review: DOG ROSE Explores Family Dynamics with Grace

Beautiful new piece from Sophie Joans is on at The Baxter

By: May. 28, 2024
Review: DOG ROSE Explores Family Dynamics with Grace
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The Dog Rose is a beautiful flower, but it behaves quite differently to a normal rose - making it the perfect metaphor for this play. DOG ROSE is at its heart a story about the tumultuous relationship between a mother and a teenaged daughter. There is a twist though, the daughter firmly believes that her mother has undiagnosed autism. What should be a normal relationship behaves completely differently.

What I loved about this piece is that it's so grounded in reality. I could see myself in both characters, see how I have pushed the buttons of the people I love just because I can, how I've worried about them too and tried to be better for them (and not always succeeded). The relationship that actors Sophie Joans and Anthea Thompson have built with the direction of Jemma Kahn is so real. I wanted to hug them both so hard by the end of the play.

Where I felt the piece could've pushed further is in the portrayal of autism. It's described as a play about neurodivergence and at the end, I felt as if I wasn't sure if the daughter was correct in her belief about her mother. Perhaps this was the point... Perhaps we were looking at an exploration of a daughter's need to find a reason for her mother's actions.

Whatever the case is, I still absolutely loved DOG ROSE. It was beautiful and I am so thankful for that moment of being drawn into this world. The writing and performances were funny and heartfelt, and you should definitely experience it for yourself.

DOG ROSE runs at the Baxter Studio until Saturday 1 June. Tickets are available on Webtickets and range from R150-R180.

Photo credit: supplied


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