The One Man Show
Late-night high-tech deconstruction with Jaffa Cakes
This article is from 2011.
So post-modern it hurts, The One Man Show is a piece of theatre about watching a piece of theatre. It has a mysterious start, a set of emotional states, a philosophical moment where we cough and eat sweets, a cheesy musical interlude and a point when we clap. It even has an interval in which actor Nigel Barrett hands out cherries, Jaffa Cakes and Babybels.
Created by Barrett and Louise Mari of cult London company Shunt, and playing to a rowdy and appreciative late-night audience, the show picks apart the conventions of actorly pretence and lays them bare in a high-tech theatrical cabaret. In Fringe terms, it is done with impressive technical flair with its multiple-screens, projections, captions, extreme lighting states and abrasive soundscapes. Barrett is a strong enough actor not to get lost amid the cacophony, holding us with his controlled, ironic performance.
It’s impressive stuff, but the emptiness at its heart means it doesn’t get beyond the navel-gazing to turn the tables on the audience in the way John Clancy’s similarly deconstructed The Event did a couple of years ago.
C Chambers Street, 0845 260 1234, Until 29 Aug (not 15), midnight, £8.50–£9.50 (£7.50–£8.50).