Brighton Fringe 2010
OneOhOne Theatre Company
Venue: Old Police Cells Museum
Festival: Brighton Fringe
The Brighton Fringe is, traditionally, a place where new ideas and concepts thrive: what better place to perform a piece of interactive, postmodern theatre? This new, young company have certainly found an exciting new idea, and their back-to-basics approach to their production is fresh and enjoyable. However, all of their inventiveness doesn’t cover up the fact that the secretive nature of their work seems to generate an unfortunate sense of apathy and lack of ambition, which couldn’t be further from the truth.
Interactive theatre is a peculiar beast: not everyone’s cup of tea, nor the easiest thing to write, direct or even perform it. If done well, the audience’s interactions guide and help shape the piece imperceptably, while a poor production will work with stock scenarios. In OneOhOne Theatre Company’s case, their work is clearly in the former category: simple scenarios, but with plenty of scope to change with the audience’s participation, focusing on some basic theatrical building blocks.
These basic blocks are not some strange analysis of stage lighting or anything like that: rather, the shows OneOhOne performs look into some basic examples of human emotion, taking examples from classic theatre and finding new ways of involving the audience. I don’t want to say too much, on the insistence of the company to keep this aspect of the work a secret, although suffice it to say that it works and is enjoyable.
This is one of the main issues with OneOhOne’s work: the insistence on secrecy: sure, it would give away a lot of the interest and excitement of the pieces they perform in their current iterations, but the ideas are strong enough without needing to be shrouded. This secretive attitude doesn’t have the desired effect of making the work more powerful, interesting and mysterious, rather guaranteeing smaller audiences and lack of recognition. A complete revamp is in order here, and is one of the few criticisms I have: as it stands, this is interesting, from a diffierent angle it could be a new and exciting voice on the theatre scene.
So, a new and exciting theatre show which I can’t really talk about: another failing of the secretive nature of this production company. It is good and exciting stuff, and the interactive set-up is used inventively: definitely ones to watch for the Edinburgh Fringe Festival!