This is the tale of a triangular stalemate forged by Sheridan’s parents, Peter and Anna, and Doris, a Lancashire woman who was a regular visitor to their home. Sheridan gives us both a familiar plot and a true story – an adult child uncovering a damaging secret in the life of a recently dead parent.
The genre necessitates imaginative speculation to piece together disturbing and sensitive information, and Sheridan’s monologue slowly un-spools his father’s longstanding affair with Doris, and Anna’s truculent toleration of the third party in her marriage.
47 Roses began as a tribute to his father, but includes memories of his brother Frankie whose untimely death had a devastating effect on the family. This subplot, while it increases sympathy for both grieving parents, dilutes dramatic tension, perhaps purposefully so.