FRINGE: One Flesh – Theatre – Town Hall – 3K

A young couple enter a hotel room, fling off their shoes and jump into bed. It is a week until their wedding and they are in love. You may think you know where this is going. You’d be wrong. What ensues is not an hour of lascivious carnal knowledge but rather an exploration of love, boundaries, faith and the choices people make in relation to these issues.

The performances of the three actors, Bella Macdiarmid (Ash), Nick Masters (Russ) and Gemma Soul (Esther), are solid, though not overly moving. Macdiarmid shows some good evolution in a role that seems defensive for the majority of the time; Soul is sweet, though perhaps a little too subdued; while Masters presents a peculiar blend of arrogance and naivety. The result of this combination is that, while the story and characters are interesting, it is difficult to feel any strong emotional investment in them or the piece.

The Prince Alfred Room at the Town Hall is turned into the hotel room for this show and the space is well utilised in this way, allowing the audience to be up close to the action. Despite the close proximity and the naturalistic feel of the play, the actors do still need to watch their projection though, with some lines lost at times. Site-lines can also be a problem with the in-the-round nature of the staging and the fact that much of the action takes place lying down, meaning that certain members of the audience will inevitably miss some of the actors’ expressions at times.

With the portrayal of the younger generations in the media tending to focus on those getting into trouble, drinking and being promiscuous, it’s sometimes easy to forget that there are swathes of young adults making very different life choices. To see these people represented on-stage is even rarer. This is an original and insightful play from Micharne Cloughley.

Kryztoff rating: 3K

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