Camilla Waldman. Picture: Brett Rubin
Camilla Waldman. Picture: Brett Rubin

Camilla Waldman honoured to bring ’Rose’ to life on stage

By Kedibone Modise Time of article published Apr 23, 2021

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Veteran actress Camilla Waldman says she’s honoured and keen to slip into the skin of her new stage character as “Rose” makes its debut at the Market Theatre from April 23.

Written by celebrated screenwriter Martin Sherman, under the direction of award-winning Malcolm Purkey, “Rose” is the remarkable story of a feisty Jewish woman, as she recalls all the brilliant and tragic elements of a life lived to the fullest.

Chatting with Waldman, the former “Generations” star says she was moved to tears when she read the script.

“For the first time I read it (the script) I loved it. It made me cry. It's a beautiful story. I am a Jewish, Christian, South African mish-mash of a person, I don’t really have any kind of firm belonging in any cultural community.

"And so a lot of my life, I’ve really struggled with the idea of belonging and what belonging means, and who do you belong to?

“And what happens if you're the child of many different places? And you know, where do you belong? And, yeah, so the play really resonated with me,” revealed Waldman.

The 53-year-old actress added: “It's so dense in so many ways and what's interesting is that it carries a very strong female voice.

“Rose is a survivor. She's quite tough. She's lived through a lot. She’s a straight shooter. She's very direct."

Waldman feels many South Africans will resonate with the story of Rose.

She explained: "Rose speaks about pain and dislocation, from a female perspective, through a woman's voice.

“She speaks to a loss of belonging, a loss of a child in a war, the loss of your family, your entire family. And what does it means to be the survivor, a woman, female survivor?

“She has to go to work, she has to raise a family on her own, and she talks about her mother who did the same.

“So there’s this strong theme of women’s incredible resilience and ability to survive the odds which, I think in South Africa, we can celebrate...

“She is very complex. She speaks to identity and at the same time, the struggle of identity, you know, what happens if you are of something but you’re not fully part of that.

“And I think we all relate to that in a lot of ways, particularly in South Africa.

“A time of so many refugees, homelessness, people kind of losing their tribe, people feeling out of the community, where your sexuality takes you into different places.

“What does that mean? So I think the play speaks deeply to a lot of those themes, and I really love that."

Waldman continued: “Rose also speaks to womanhood and says, ‘you know, we can survive’. And there are many times where she says, ‘I can't even believe that I made it through’.

“She doesn’t claim any sort of superwoman status.

“She very real and also got a beautiful sense of humour, and the kind of compassion which I think is very much part of the female voice, your ability to have compassion, to have heart.”

“Rose” was first performed at the Cottesloe auditorium at the Royal National Theatre in 1999.

The show will make its South African premiere at the Market Theatre on Friday, April 23, and will run till May 16.

Tickets to the show cost R130 and can be purchased through Webtickets.

For more information visit Market Theatre.

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