"Warmly recommended fast paced comedy"
by Alan Ward for remotegoat on 03/03/15

Presented by Trapdoor Productions at the Tristan Bates Theatre, One of Those makes good use of a strong cast to present a well-written script. The production’s promotional copy promises a “fast paced comedy”, which is delivered. It’s not all about the laughs though. Tom Ward-Thomas’s script, though some of its coincidences are farfetched, has believable characters at its heart.

James, played by Ward-Thomas himself, seems at first to be a privileged ex-public school boy coasting through life on his parents’ bank balance. When he gets talking to Laura, a fellow passenger on the long train journey from London to Penzance, they are both forced to reconsider some stereotypes. Ward-Thomas is well suited to the role, and it’s his own quick witted and genuinely funny writing that propel us through a speedy first half. Laura displays some less plausible behaviour, but actress Amy Newton’s contribution adds some real authenticity to the part.

It’s a bit of a disappointment at the outset of act two to have said goodbye to two characters whose fates we’ve become very interested in. The second half is largely unrelated to the first, though it continues the general theme of debunking stereotypes. Again, there are characters we can almost believe in – Carole Street’s doddery Alice, Sam Halpenny’s Philip (who’s all caught up because once a very long time ago his wife inconsiderately asked him to unload the dishwasher) and Emma Kelly’s misguided Davina.

Ward-Thomas deserves special mention for his strong script and performance – not all writers would cast themselves in the right part, and some might be tempted to take on a role when it really didn’t suit them. This is not the case in this instance, and this production comes warmly recommended.

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