Rose is a family affair – a father-daughter story performed by father and daughter Art Malik, making his Edinburgh debut after a stage and screen career spanning 30 years, and Keira Malik.
Rose comes to visit her father in hospital after he’s suffered a severe stroke that’s left him paralysed and incapable of speech. She won’t leave – more out of retribution than vengeance.
The hospital room doubles as a bedsit as we shift backwards through the pair’s penurious life together in England. Arthur (his Anglicised name inspired by Camelot) emigrated from an Middle-Eastern country, but refuses to share any details: not of his wife, his religion, his family or even the name of his former homeland. Rose has never even seen a photo of her mother.
Both try to fill the gaps in their history – Arthur by downing whiskey, quoting Shakespeare and embracing all things English, rebellious Rose by converting to Islam.
The onstage affection between the Maliks is palpable – the hug at the curtain call heart-warmingly genuine – which deepens many of the messages about love and family. But the mystery at the heart of Hywel John’s play isn’t compelling enough to keep us truly engaged throughout nor unravelled enough to leave us satisfied at its conclusion.