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The One

Published 27 February 2014

What’s it all about?

Jo and Harry, an explosive couple who stay up all night waiting for news from the hospital where Jo’s sister is in labour. Sex, an unexpected visitor, psychologically tortuous mind games, violence, tea, gin, wine, intellectual trickery and more sex unfold as time ticks on and the stakes grow ever higher.

Who’s in it?

Phoebe Waller-Bridge and Rufus Wright star as Vicky Jones’ toxic couple, offering the stage an almost audible buzz of sexual chemistry and simmering violence in equal measure.

Waller-Bridge is both brilliantly funny and hideously vicious as Jo, while Wright is squirm-inducingly smug as her former professor Harry. The power play hinted at from their early days as student/teacher hasn’t diluted through the years, instead the steady drip feed of boredom and over familiarity has pushed their relationship into dangerous territories that Waller-Bridge and Wright reveal with unflinchingly honest and daring performances.

A compelling Lu Corfield rounds up the dysfunctional trio as Kerry, bringing with her an equally unsettlingly set of relationship issues and an instability that threatens to explode.

What should I look out for?

People gasping, flinching and looking uncomfortable about what they’ve just laughed at. Jones’ provocative script confidently walks the line between offensive and witty. Her characters are universally disturbed, the lines between being victim or complicit are blurred and they deliver acid sharp lines – often downright filthy ones – with poetic verve.

All in all, expect a good debate in the bar afterwards about the arguably cavalier but deeply affecting snapshot of domestic abuse it offers. Oh and whether eating Wotsits during certain activities is strictly acceptable…

In a nutshell?

Vicky Jones’ The One is a savagely brutal and wickedly funny snapshot of a cataclysmic love affair sure to spark debate.

What’s being said on Twitter?

@SurfyMDO The One at Soho Theatre – uncomfortable, visceral theatre; not for the faint of heart; beautifully drawn characters on the edge of reason.

@VictoriaJSadler Ok so just out from seeing The One at Soho Theatre. DryWrite is carving a niche in dark plays that are both disturbing but viciously funny.

Will I like it?

If you like theatre that provokes, unsettles and is likely to dominate your thoughts far longer than its swift yet searing 65 minute run, then yes, this is a must-see. The One may have made its world premiere last night, but it already boasts a Verity Bargate Award and I’m sure I’m not alone in already itching to see what Jones offers next.


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