The One Man Show (3 stars)

Late-night high-tech deconstruction with Jaffa Cakes


This article is from 2011.

The One Man Show

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).


This article is from 2011.

The One Man Show

  • 3 stars

A show lovingly created for drunks and freaks late at night in the Shunt Lounge. Now it is for you. 'Immensely fun, yet disturbing… true originals' (Andy Field, Forest Fringe). 'Trailblazing and full of exciting things' (Josie Long).


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