Written for The Stage
At one point in Xenia Orphanides’ pretentious new offering her protagonist, an artistically constipated painter, cries out “This is turning out to be a nightmare!” as he battles with his new work. Sitting in the audience I can’t help but feel sympathy with him.
A Sherbert Cherry Rose is interminable. This is a poorly written and verbose attempt to interrogate the process of artistic creation and the isolated society Orphanides feels artists have to work in. Tom – who we know is an artist because of the paint splattered on his bag and shirt – is desperately searching for inspiration, while three people with ‘real’ stories are just round the corner from him involved in a desperate search for meaning themselves. “If we could all only engage with each other more, art could successfully heal the world,” Orphanides appears to be crying. But not if it’s art like this.
Mostly consisting of self-indulgent monologues, this piece drowns in attempted lyricism, utterly eschewing dramatic narrative. As such, although circumstances change within the course of the play, there is no cohesion to any of these events and each character remains psychologically and emotionally static. Stuck in this quagmire the languishing cast do their best but only the fiercely determined Sophia West manages to connect with the audience.
Barons Court Theatre, runs until February 3