By Seckford Theatre Company

‘Rosemary’ is a Verbatim play which focuses on the story of Rose West.

Fred and Rose West are two of the most notorious serial killers in British history with their story inspiring many dramatisations. As a woman Rose West was particularly vilified for the part she played in the horrific crimes committed at 25 Cromwell Street and she continues to receive much condemnation as she maintains her innocence to this day. This play does not paint Rose West as an innocent victim but explores her childhood, her relationship with her parents and the early years she spent with Fred West, and asks the audience to question if these experiences may have contributed to the woman she became.

Physical Theatre is a genre of performance that the Seckford Theatre Company is particularly inspired by. We have decided to present our production of ‘Rosemary’ in an ensemble style, taking inspiration from a range of mediums. At this early juncture we are particularly interested in the use of Polaroid cameras which will be used during the performance to capture important moments and emphasise the power of the media with regards to the West’s story. The images taken will be used to help create both a unique performance space and experience for the audience from one show to the next.

The story of Fred and Rose West is one that if you lived in the 1990’s you would be fully aware of. You probably know that this ‘couple of evil’, were found guilty of killing ten young women, including members of their own family, and to be honest this is probably the truth. I too was like you, someone who knew only what I was told by the media, knowing little of the background of these two people, in particular Rosemary Pauline West. On the face of it, Rose West was an evil woman capable of torturing, raping and murdering her own children, a deeply troubled woman who was part of a campaign of terror in Gloucestershire for over twenty years. However when you delve deeper you start to realise that Rose was not born a monster but was made one by many of the people that she came in contact with from a young age. My play is not designed to make Rose look innocent but questions and explores the way that she was treated by the people around her. Rose was branded a monster by society, but I am interested in if she was moulded and changed by the influential people in her life and if they therefore must take some responsibility for the murders that later happened at 25 Cromwell Street.

Video by Chris Tuck Media

August 2013

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