Abraxus Theatre, One

Review in Issue 9-4 | Winter 1997

Sandwiched between two short plays in a triple bill, One stood out as a visually striking and intellectually challenging piece of physical theatre. With minimal multilingual dialogue, little lighting and no set, the piece follows an epic and confrontational journey of survival through a city. A stranger arrives in search of a drink, but is met with hostility, indifference, greed, trickery and alienation. He can only offer his naive openness to the city dwellers, who mock and reject his attempts to integrate. They are trapped in their own claustrophobic, polluted and spiritually barren world. His thirst for life unveils their death in life, which ultimately leads to their suicide and the continuation of his aloneness.

The universal language of this piece is powerful, potent and physical. Alan Marni, the stranger, leads us through a labyrinth of mobile phones, crowded tubes, dirty streets, parks and dark nights. His physical control and sweating torso is caught between the tightly choreographed movements of Toby Hughes and Leticia Rua, the city dwellers, appropriately dressed in grey. They ran, rolled, choked, flirted and chased one another with flawless synchronicity.

The tightly orchestrated rhythms of movements and sounds, both vocal and recorded, provide a captivating piece of ensemble theatre, whose resonance goes beyond the realms of being alone in a city. The final suicide is brought to a close with the accompanying Oasis soundtrack and we are left to question our own future. Over the next few months one is to be developed as a Perpetual Motion show and deserves to have a long and successful future.

Presenting Artists
Presenting Venue


Date Seen
  1. Sep 1997

This article in the magazine

Issue 9-4
p. 24