REVIEW! Rosa @ The Courtyard Theatre

Written and performed by Carlota Arencibia

Directed and designed by Justine Pickering

Produced by Volva Theatre

Upon entering The Courtyard, a theatre which I had not yet visited, I was intrigued to see this new play Rosa, performed by debut writer Carlota Arencibia. And throughout my curiosity only grew.

Carlota Arencibia as Rosa

Walking into the black box theatre I was first met with loud, upbeat, modern day music and the extreme contrast of a frosty white wooden set against the dark stage. Arencibia, as the protagonist Rosa, was full of energy dancing around the set in a white bra and boxers, talking towards the audience to an unseen character Miss Kauffman.

Rosa battling sleep

Rosa, we soon learn, is unusual. She has such depth to her and, with the accidental hilarity in her characteristics, she soon becomes captivating. I feel her story is almost told backwards, firstly exploring her current situation – her day to day life being obsessed with time – all of which she explains to this mysterious Miss Kauffman. Within this continuous monologue we are gradually given pieces of her past, of her childhood, of her mother, of her past lover. And we are left to piece them together how we like, which is wonderfully refreshing as well as fitting to the absurd style. However, I did feel the beginning introduction to character and place took slightly too long, and that I was almost waiting for the story to develop further.

The set design, by Justine Pickering, was bold and clever. As the play evolved it seemed to me that this is what her world looks like through her eyes and to see the same as her was both intimate and poetic.

Her morning routine

From the coffee making routine, to the psychotic episodes, from the pillow clitoris, to the indepth dream sequence, the play was absurd… but simultaneously mesmerising.

For a premiere production of a new play I was very impressed. Arencibia has written a text which is both fluid and dynamic, and she was certainly committed to the character of Rosa. There is a lot potential in these upcoming artists, and I urge you to keep your eyes peeled for further productions of Rosa by this female led company Volva Theatre.

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