Home CultureTheatre A Remarkable Performance: One Way Mirror at Brighton Fringe

A Remarkable Performance: One Way Mirror at Brighton Fringe

by Sara Darling

Is it a play? Is it a comedy? Is it a one-man show?

Difficult to describe, but everything apart from the last one as the audience was very much involved in this riveting hour-long show One Way Mirror by Jonathan Oldfield which was awarded the Brighton Fringe Trapeze Media Bursary 2024.

What is One Way Mirror like?

I arrived a few minutes late (sssssh) but Jonathan didn’t notice as the show opened with him setting the scene, wearing a blindfold, introducing the audience to a unique and immersive theatrical experience, and I was soon up to speed with the story as I slid into my front row seat. We were treated like best friends and confidants as we learned about his real-life experience of living in a bizarre Guardianship solicitor’s office in West London during COVID-19.

One Way Mirror

By using direct audience engagement, Jonathan casually broke down the fourth wall, addressing the audience directly and involving us in the performance in some way to create a unique interactive and immersive experience in my show, an almost unbelievably talented narrator was plucked from the crowd to revisit a conversation, and fell unnaturally easily into the role, fuelled by Jonathan’s self – deprecation.

The scene was set as Jonathan segways into One Way Mirror by regaling (true) stories of his lockdown period which took place in his far-from-usual abode in London’s East London, which has the elephant in the room – a one-way mirror offering massive voyeuristic potential! With so much time on his hands, this became an obsession and his recreation (a sheet of tinted Perspex) on stage became the centre of the show as he ventured behind it to regale three ‘stories’ from that time.

His choice to be “David Attenborough, not Stacey Dooley” sets the tone for the comedy, which is easy and organic as he banters with the crowd who are actively involved in making decisions – with the unique concept of taking selfies which dictate the outcome of each story. This interaction of whether he should intervene or not to get involved in the true dilemmas he has encountered meaningfully affects One Way Mirror conclusion and questions the morals of ‘the watcher’ and ‘the watched’ summing up the audience’s collective morality.

Brighton Fringe Mid Show Picture

I only saw one show, but the show was highly dependent on the audience, and the completely improvised finale, which was inspired by the actual book that was discovered hidden behind a dicky pipe! “How To Make and Use Magic Mirrors” by Nigel Clough (published 1977) was the base of a willing audience member who ventured on stage to undergo astral projection live on stage to describe her version of events that happened as decided by the audience.

Weird, peculiar, incredibly exciting and original; this is a surreal comedy that I haven’t seen since Bob and Vic’s ‘Shooting Stars’ and I can’t wait for what comes next from Jonathan.

For more information, check out his website.

Author

  • Sara Darling

    Sara has many years’ experience as a fashion & lifestyle journalist, she Co-Founded 55 Magazine in 2011 and still styles and writes across a number of print and web titles. With a passion for travel, fashion and adventures, writing is her dream job. She can never say no to a glass of fizz, owns more than ten pairs of leather trousers and is obsessed with new exercise fads. Current fave is Bounce.

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