Venue: Pleasance Courtyard
18 August 2011 WOS Rating: The material that inspired One Under was gathered by interviewing people on the Underground - the often absurd responses that the company received form the starting point of this piece.
The show is unsurprisingly set in a tube carriage, and opens with disjointed snapshots from the raw material; some is lip-synced (to relatively good effect) to the original recordings, and some is spoken. The performers present caricatures of a wide range of contributors, all expressed with great physical and vocal work from the young cast.
After a while the piece settles on a small group of characters, whose stories all intertwine with each other, and are brought to a head when the train suddenly stops in the middle of the tunnel. These self-absorbed and incredibly normal characters speak their thoughts to the audience, very rarely engaging in any dialogue with the others on stage. Fortunately, instead of this technique feeling gimmicky or pretentious, the verbatim elements of the show inject it with a truth and life that perhaps it otherwise would not have acheived.
The show gives a poetic snapshot into the lives of its subjects, letting us into the minds of these characters inventively and effectively. Excellent performances, and some very interesting material. This isn't particularly gripping theatre, but it is very clever and sometimes quite touching.
- Chris Wheeler
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