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One Night There (Re:Play Manchester)

Rating: 2 out of 5 stars
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One Night There, written by Bhean Ali and translated by Crystal Stewart, examines the role of women in supporting repressive patriarchal regimes by their submission and by encouraging the brutalisation of men. This arises as a nameless woman tries to discover how she became trapped in a limbo.

Director Borhan Mohammadi delivers a highly imaginative production. Although the stage is bare the actors fill in as mobile props. A lively dance is twisted and perverted to illustrate the subjugation of women.

However, the narrative and emotional development of characters are significantly under-developed. Ali uses the characters to illustrate the abuses of the regime rather than as people. Once the shock value of scenes has diminished it is hard to care about such flat characters. The narrative is so slight as to be easily over-looked. Translator Stewart does the writer few favours occasionally resorting to stock phrases

The difficulty of translating from one culture to another is acknowledged but with a duration of just 40 minutes there is plenty of time to tackle the shortcomings of One Night There.

- Dave Cunningham  


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