Review | THE ONE asks what marriage means in today’s world

the one 2THE ONE by Jeffrey Jay Fowler | Blue Room
Until Jan 28 | ★ ★ ★ ½

Writer/Director Jeffrey Jay Fowler’s second offering this Fringe World examines the nature, history and culture of marriage in a unique take on the typical boy-meets-girl narrative set to the sounds of rhythm & blues provided by composer Mark Storen.

Storen and producer Georgia King meet at the opening of the play, sharing their thoughts with the audience with melodic dialogue. Storen strums the heartbeat of the story as their romance waxes and wanes, tackling romantic cliches and sexual tension.

The story breaks from the traditional boy-meets-girl format when marriage infiltrates the couple’s discourse. A rift appears, one half of the pair is desperate to make their relationship “official” while the other bucks the convention, denouncing the notion as oppressive and rooted in inequality.

THE ONE wedges the shocking history of marriage into its dialogue, referencing the horrors of foot-binding and treating women as literal objects. The harshness of dismissing these facts as trivial is amplified in the space of the show, urging the audience to consider marriage’s place in contemporary society.

THE ONE finds its strength with Fowler’s realistic characters and wry honest dialogue. King and Storen have a solid dynamic, both as acting partners and as a musical team. Fowler successfully wrings tension from the story, forcing my teeth to grit with frustration at decisions characters made, or ignorance they displayed. Reconsider your commitments and catch THE ONE while you can.

Leigh Hill

THE ONE will be at the Blue Room Theatre until Saturday January 28th. Tickets available from fringeworld.com.au

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