Thursday, September 28

One Way Mirror – The Pleasance

One Way Mirror bills itself as a new interactive story about the art of people watching. It is based on the true experience of writer and performer, theatre maker Jonathan Oldfield, one half of PillowTalk Theatre, and the time he spent living in a property with a one way mirror facing out onto the street. From this vantage point, Oldfield can observe people going about their business, a voyeur of sorts who can see you even though you can’t see him. And the show is largely as billed – it does indeed focus on Oldfield’s experience of people watching and it is interactive in as much as it relies on a degree of audience participation. It’s risky but respectfully and gently done – no one is forced onto the stage to pretend to be a cat or a chicken and the excellent willing participants were given the requisite support and encouragement from the audience and indeed Oldfield himself. This is part of Oldfield’s charm – he is so at ease on stage that it becomes almost contagious. There’s a warmth and a lightness to him that is easy to embrace and makes for an enjoyable if not perfect evening of theatre.

I say that because when, on the way home when my boyfriend asked me what the play was about, I really struggled to answer him. “It’s about a guy who is watching people’s lives play out when they think no one is watching them, but there’s also this other parallel bit about the supernatural and accessing a new spiritual level of being…”. I found it confusing. There are two different ideas here – good ideas, each worth exploring as a production – but I felt they’d been forced together a bit and the end result falls just short of the mark of what could potentially have been a really great, unique show.

That said, it would be wrong to say I didn’t enjoy last night’s performance. Oldfield is engaging, the script is funny and overall there were plenty of laughs and a sense of togetherness created by the interactive aspects that I really quite enjoyed. It’s fun, and not a huge time investment at a sharp 60-minute run time. Plus, The Pleasance Theatre is a lovely space with a sizeable bar and a nice outdoor area for enjoying the evening sun. So, if you’re in the area do check it out – it’s playing Friday and Saturday only. And do keep an eye out for Oldfield’s future work – I certainly will be.

Reviewer: Zoë Meeres

Reviewed: 29th June 2023

North West End UK Rating:

Rating: 3 out of 5.