When the photos came back, they were all of Rose.
“She’s just so… intriguing”.
Rose Romain was cast in our second production, Still, by Steve Lambert, a tricky two-hander exploring guilt, dependency and sex. Beyond being photogenic, Rose embodied an intensity so strong, its impact is burned on the back of my consciousness. I can still see her, curling herself snake-like around the tree, dipping up hands into the water, staring intensely. It was a rushed rehearsal period and we both struggled, but as the run went on, Rose’s performance grew deeper, appropriately haunting, ultimately terribly moving.
In 2011, I got the opportunity to work with her again, on The Kratos Effect, a verbatim piece looking at the events of the aftermath of the shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes. Here, Rose showed her versatility, delivering a performance of quietness and calm, whilst maintaining her elegant poise.
Reading this back I realise I’ve made Rose sound, well, quite traditional, She isn’t. She’s amazingly, brilliantly untraditional. I want to call her “manic” but I’m aware of the derogatory connotations of this word. But on looking up “mania”, I find it described as “ an abnormally elevated arousal energy level” and this feels perfect. Rose has energy coursing through her. When she enters a room, its as though the sound shifts, everyone moving slightly differently. When she suppresses this, as she did so wonderfully in Still and The Kratos Effect, she achieves that wonderful combination of frenetic internal energy and outward stillness that is so electric in theatre.
In 2012, Rose jointly created the company that would later morph into Theatre Rush, putting autobiography at the heart of the work they present. She has since moved to Paris where the rumours are that she is working on a new show. Hopefully, these rumours are true. Hopefully, Rose will bring it to Exeter. If you’re lucky, reader, you’ll get to see it.