One Hour Only @ Underbelly
Marly is studying forensic biology and to pay her way she has started a new job at an ‘upmarket’ brothel. Her first client is AJ who is twenty-one today and about to enjoy a birthday treat from his mates. The two get talking and establish an unexpected relationship in the sixty minutes they spend together. They bond in unlikely ways, talking frankly about love and life as they express their youthful and idyllic aspirations as well as their sexual attitudes.
Part of a season of theatre from Old Vic New Voices, One Hour Only asks us to consider British attitudes to women, sex and youth itself. Student loans, career ambition and strained relationships with our family are also up for discussion here and our two characters explore each with humour, honesty and trepidation. AJ is unspoilt and naïve but at the same time bright, sensitive and extraordinarily crude. Marly is more street-wise and independent but over the course of AJ’s visit, she is forced to question her motives and these moments are emotionally charged. The interest in watching the two comes from how they probe one another, as they talk candidly about ambition and outlook, neither ever really sure if they’ve gotten it right.
Played by Faraz Ayub and Nadia Clifford, the characters are persuasive and believable. They bounce off one another with laugh-out-loud funny banter, and when the curtain falls a change has come over these two very different people. There’s a journey here and it’s gripping, funny, refreshing, honest and moving. Brilliant theatre.