ONE MINUTE – The Barn Theatre, Cirencester.

19 May till 16 June 2018 – Review by Carlo Vuolo

Following the resounding success of ‘The Secret Garden’, the first professional show at The Barn Theatre, the latest production, Simon Stephens’ ‘One Minute’, reaffirmed the theatre’s promise to bring West End standard entertainment to the Cotswolds. This was a brave move from musical theatre to straight drama, completely unlike previous performances here at the Barn, and was eagerly anticipated. Some of the regular supporters were curious and a little doubtful it would be able to match up to them.

Once seated for the 90 minute performance (with no break, please note), the audience was thrilled and captivated by the most spectacular piece of theatre ever to be seen in Cirencester – although the Romans might disagree were they still around.

The production was gripping and the time flew by.

One would expect professional actors to deliver high quality, faultless and utterly engaging performances and the cast members of ‘One Minute’ most certainly did. The story of a missing child and the five characters whose lives are both connected and affected by her disappearance was told both sensitively and with such raw emotion that the audience were swept up in a maelstrom of pure drama.

The highlight had to be the Barn Theatre’s incredible audio-visual technology which was exploited to the full by director Iwan Lewis and the design team of PJ McEvoy, Benjamin Collins and Christopher Cleal. A relatively simple set, consisting of two concentric lens-like circular arches plus a few versatile props, became a tube train thundering through a tunnel; a car in which the two detective characters staked out a suspect (with some superb audio/visual comedy thrown in); and the drawing room of the missing girl’s mother, amongst other things.  

Very clever. The pre-filmed background bios of each character were a great touch, realistically reflecting both their individual inner turmoils and the essence of the streets of London where the action took place.

Just like ‘The Secret Garden, ‘One Minute’ is another must see production. It runs until the 16th June.  

Warning: Contains some bad language. Not suitable for children.

Tickets from £14 from / 01285 648255.
Carlo Vuolo, Cirencester Scene Magazine, 24.05.18

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