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One Life Stand review at Roundabout, Edinburgh – ‘boundary-breaking buzz’

One Life Stand at Roundabout, Summerhall. Photo: Sarah Beth One Life Stand at Roundabout, Summerhall. Photo: Sarah Beth

Hull-based gig-theatre company Middle Child supplied one of the hits of the fringe last year with the frankly superb All We Ever Wanted Was Everything. They’re back in the Summerhall Roundabout again this year, with a new show that’s totally different in topic and tone, but that has the same boundary-breaking buzz about it.

Eve Nicol’s One Life Stand follows three lonely people – Kit, Kat and MoMo – on a rambling odyssey of an evening out in Hull. Kit delivers for McDonalds on his bike and wanks over teenage girls in the blue-lit loos. Kat, his girlfriend, drifts through social media in search of sexual satisfaction. And MoMo, a schoolgirl with a secret, is just buffeted by the current.

Paul Smith’s engrossingly seamy production is saturated in smartphones. As our trio – three fine performances from Ed Cole, Tanya Loretta Dee and Anna Mitchelson – swipe and scroll their way through the night, spurts of music, courtesy of James Frewer and Glaswegian duo Honeyblood, invade the show. Texts, notifications and matches are constantly pinging.

It’s a slick and effective device. Few shows have captured the conflicting emotions evoked by dating apps and social media. None has done it as stylishly as this.

Middle Child: ‘We want to push the boundaries of what gig theatre can do’


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A stylish, smartphone-saturated Odyssey from Hull-based gig-theatre makers Middle Child