One Life Stand @ Summerhall

The Follow up to Middle Child's All We Ever Wanted Was Everything lacks power and punch.

Review by Deborah Klayman | 13 Aug 2018

Written by Eve Nicol and with music by James Frewer and Honeyblood, One Life Stand is the latest offering from Hull-based theatre company Middle Child. Utilising microphones, beats and electric guitar, this play is chock-full of current references, with each of the three characters’ lives revolving around their mobile phones. Examining loneliness and isolation, even when constantly connected, there is a feeling of hopelessness that pervades the piece and remains with you throughout.

Tanya Loretta Dee gives a strong performance as Kat, a woman frustrated by both her work situation and her stagnant 4-year relationship with Kit (Edward Cole). As she considers her options, both Kit and Kat have chance meetings with teenager Momo (Anna Mitchelson), who lives her life online and dreams only of the perfect selfie. The availability of no-strings sex, pornography and instant gratification beamed into their iPhones is a constant temptation, and all seem to lack real human connection, even when it is lying right beside them.

Following on from their award-winning All We Ever Wanted Was Everything, sadly One Life Stand lacks the power and punch of its predecessor. Described as “gig theatre”, in this piece the musical elements feel somewhat tacked on and often get in the way of the story development rather than being truly integral. The performances were strong, but it was hard to empathise with the characters, none of them being particularly likeable and seeming to care little for anything. Overall there is a striking lack of drama in this play, no heightened stakes or progression in the characters, which culminates in a well-performed but rather dull seventy minutes.

One Life Stand, Roundabout @ Summerhall, 1-26 Aug (not 2, 7, 14, 21), 9.45pm, £9-15

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