"Exceptional acting underpins psychological thriller"
by Matthew Partridge for remotegoat on 20/04/17

“She Wore Scented Rose”, written and directed by Yasir Senna, and currently running at Teatro Technis, is a drama about betrayal, deception and the lies that we tell ourselves. After Mark (Craig Karpel) is nearly stabbed to death on the eve of a big business deal, his wife Verity (Nikki Mylonas), daughter Neve (Natalie Mitson) and best friend David (Simon Ryerson) all rally around him. However, police detective Kane (Rosalie Carn) isn’t convinced by his insistence that the assailant was a young man desperate to steal his car. Meanwhile, it turns out that Verity has her own suspicions. As the truth is gradually revealed, Mark engages in a desperate struggle to protect himself.

Senna’s play is strongly plotted, with several red herrings scattered throughout the two hour running time. A shocking twist early in the second half sends it in a completely unexpected direction. However, the real energy of the play comes from Karpel and Ryerson as two friends who see their relationship tested to destruction. Starting out as a warm family man, Karpel gradually sheds his mask to reveal a decidedly darker side to his character. Ryerson provides the perfect foil, alternating between disgust at his friend’s behaviour, and a misplaced need to defend him.

While the play is firmly located in the realm of the psychological thriller, there are moments of black comedy as well as one extremely moving sequence, aided by an excellent choice of music. The supporting actors also deliver strong performances, especially Mylonas as Robert’s wife, Carn as the police detective and Charlotte Campbell as David’s daughter Sadie. The only real quibble is that the ending would be even more effective if the last minute or two were trimmed.

Overall, this is an excellent play that keeps the audience continually guessing.

Other cast members include: Michael Mayne, Kerry-Ann Goode, Mahesch Kumar and Martin Balanow.

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