Pros: A gripping drama, with clever use of projection and imagery.
Cons: The noise from the overhead trains often drowned out the voices of the actors on stage, leaving me worried I was missing vital conversations.
Written in 2002, Simon Stephen’s One Minute is a dramatic, emotive play centered around a missing child. Running at an hour and a half without an interval, the story follows the impact this missing child has on a number of different lives, including those of people who have never met her.
DI Gary Burroughs (Jake Ferretti) and DC Robert Evans (Oliver Kaderbhai) are investigating the disappearance of Daisy Schults. She has seemingly vanished into thin air, with no evidence found as to where she may have gone. Cait Davis plays Dr Anne Schults, Daisy’s mother, and her emotional performance is truly heartbreaking to watch. Although she constantly reassures the officers that she is coping, it is clear that she is utterly devastated and unable to comprehend the situation she finds herself in.
Soon after, we meet two female characters who, although they have never met Daisy, are deeply disturbed and affected by her disappearance. Marie Louise Burdett (Rose Riley) makes a statement to the police, convinced she saw Daisy in the park with a man; though the police soon uncover evidence to suggest it was a case of mistaken identity. Her roommate Catherine Denham (Rebecca Killick) has an interesting relationship with Gary, who during his lowest times complains about his marriage to his childhood sweetheart and constantly justifies why he has no children.
The set, designed by Natalie Parsons, is simple but effective – it consists of a metal cube with sliding panels at the back upon which images are projected. These range from huge raindrops, which alongside the surround sound system makes the audience feel part of the scene itself; to ghostly images of people bustling around the cast, which gives the impression of a busy London street. Lighting is also effectively used, with rope-like lights dragged across the stage and pinned to the floor at various points of the play. Although initially confusing it eventually becomes clear at the end that it is set up to resemble a pin board used in police investigations.
Although the cast are strong there are moments of confusion, and by the end of the play I was frustrated with the lack of conclusion. The noise from the overhead trains was also extremely distracting, although the space is very impressive.
Writer: Simon Stephens
Director: Oliver Kaderbhai & Matthew Churcher
Producer: Delerium Theatre Company
Playing Until: October 3 2015
Box Office: 0871 230 1557
Booking Link: http://www.the-vaults.org/#!one-minute/cym7