Theatre Review: A Broken Rose - The Cockpit, London ✭✭

A Broken Rose

The Cockpit, London 

Last night I went to see ‘A Broken Rose’ by Sarah Goddard at The Cockpit.

The story tells of 13 year old Maria (Louisa Lytton) who is coming to terms with the death of her father and the unpleasant reality which has since ensued. A now neglectful and alcoholic Mother, Jess (Nicola Wright) finds new disrespectful boyfriend Johnny (John Last), and poor Maria has no choice but to turn to an imaginary world of her own devising inhabited by strength giving, morally guiding fairy friends. As the action (slowly) unfolds the fairies bestow upon Maria 3 tasks which, if undertaken properly will allow her to ‘capture innocence’ and return to their land to live as Fairy Queen. HEAVY on the child psychology, coming of age metaphors, Maria converses with the fairies invisible to her Mother, until child psychiatrist Dr. Cole (Nick Boulton) is called upon (elbow patches and all) to ease Maria out of her shell while he scribbles notes at the kitchen table.

The production was confused from the off set which left the cast clawing their way through a clunky script of too many themes, set somewhere slightly outside reality. The scenes were over weight, repetitive and in some cases gratuitous. Sarah Goddard seemed more concerned with shocking us than fleshing out her characters and within 5 minutes I felt as if I had seen this all before. It was nothing but morbid fascination that brought me back in after the interval.

By far and away the best thing about this production were the cast, particularly Lytton who played a convincing 13 year old, and handled the inconsistency of a part that repeatedly jumped from child to articulate story teller. Nick Boulton was perfectly cast as Dr. Cole and was a welcome strand of believability, even managing to get a couple of laughs from an undoubtedly awkward feeling audience. Set in the 70’s, the costume and stage design recalled the era perfectly and the golden lighting state paved the way for the magical element of the production.

A Broken Rose certainly taps into the modern obsession with fantasy drama. I tasted flavors of everything from Northern Lights to Game of Thrones but Goddards brave attempt at using them to spice up a kitchen sink drama was not a successful experiment.

2 stars out of 5 ✭✭

Review by Sassy Clyde

by Sarah Goddard

Director Phil Willmott
Set/Costume Designer Emma Tompkins
Lighting Designer Tom Boucher
Original Music Composed by John-Paul Bowman
Casting Director Danielle Tarento
Produced by Five One Productions


A Broken Rose

The Cockpit 
Gateforth Street, 

Tuesday 11th September - 
Sunday 30th September

Tuesday - Sunday at 7.30pm 

Tickets: £15.00 (£13.00 concs)
inclusive of all booking fees

Box office: 0207 258 2925
or online at

Press Night: Thursday 13th September at 7.30pm

How to Get There

Nearest stations:

Edgware Road:
Hammersmith & City, District, Circle, Bakerloo 

Marylebone: Bakerloo and main line

Buses stopping nearby are:
6, 16, 18, 98, 139, 189, 332, 414