Ghost River Theatre’s production of One was incredibly successful. It ran last week and was sold out most of the time. I reserved a seat for a Saturday matinee performance and struggled to find parking at the packed Pumphouse Theatre.
One is many things. It is raw and breathtaking, visceral and minimal and a performance that you could watch multiple times and still see something new. One is loosely based on the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice, where our main character Philistine goes into the underworld to search for her lost lover.
One is a combination of dance and theatre and the two melt together. We are told the story of the true love of Philistine and George and how they make the stars shine. They weave their story, drawing constellations in chalk on the stage floor and creating a dance among them. George is then lost at sea and Philistine goes to the record keeper to see where she can find a lost person. Here the audience creates the vision of walls and walls of records of memories and we follow the Philistine on her quest.
Philistine then chooses to go down into the underworld to find George she encounters many demons, whom to the audiences eyes were men (or women) in dance costume with simple masks on. But there quick, creature-like movement made the audience cringe in the darkness at the intangible pain, as Philistine is being dragged deeper and deeper into the shadows of hell.
The themes of stars and red permeated the whole performance and as the last gut wrenching scene came to a close you did know one thing. Sometimes, all you have to do is let go.