BWW Review: THE ONE, Soho Theatre

BWW Review: THE ONE, Soho Theatre

BWW Review: THE ONE, Soho TheatreHow far would you go to get your man? And then when you have him, what lengths do you go to ensure no one steals him away. How do you preserve a dying relationship? Is it sometimes better to just walk away? Can it ever be that easy?

These are some of the questions (amongst many others) that are asked in Vicky Jones' Verity Bargate Award-winning play The One, currently being revived at the Soho Theatre. Directed by Steve Marmion, it's a gripping 75 minutes that has you on the edge of your seat from start to finish.

From the very beginning the stakes are raised to an ultimate high, and as an audience you embark upon an intense rollercoaster filled with constant curveballs that keep you on your toes. We see a couple, Harry and Jo, drink wine, have sex and chat. Well, it's more like they argue, relentlessly trying to one up one another and inflict pain.

From the outside looking in Harry and Jo's relationship seems like the most chaotic, volatile and unhealthy situation imaginable, but for the couple themselves, it's normal; there's an exciting and unexpected nature to the whole thing - it feels constantly alive and that makes it addictive.

As the night passes into morning the atmosphere darkens, the tension rises and relationships fracture further. We're introduced to Kerry, who resembles a possible new beginning for Harry. But it's one that doesn't seem as intoxicating as the connection he shares with Jo. He thrives off the drama they share, enjoying the games they play and the constant competitions that keep them both on their toes.

When you're trapped in cycle of abuse it's hard to see what could be 'other'. Animalistic in its staging, the group stalk about the stage, predatorily deciding which of them is going to be the next victim. The situation is very primal and it feels like you're sat watching three animals at a zoo, who have all been forced to co-inhabit one tiny space. As can be expected, all hell breaks loose.

It's hard to form any allegiance with any of the characters. Tuppence Middleton's Jo is undeniably horrible, but at least she's open with her opinions. John Hopkins' Harry is blindingly misogynistic, yet at the same time he possesses a charisma that intrigues and entices.

As for Julia Sandiford's Kerry, despite seeming like the angel in the situation and Harry's saviour, she's weak and doesn't seem to possess the strength to seize the moment and take control. All three play them with a meticulous force, accurately communicating the hostile nature of their characters.

A destructive tale of love and lust, The One is a production that is sure to make an impact with audiences.

The One at the Soho Theatre until 25 August

Photo Credit: Helen Maybanks



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