One Night Stand ***

One Night Stand is an apt name for the production currently playing in the Tron’s studio space.  It is a passionate romp that seduces with its energy and potential but just doesn’t quite measure up when reflecting afterwards.

Clocking in at just over an hour, the production follows a man and woman during a 24-hour period.  Told in flashback by the man, we see how this couple met and the results of their running off with each other on a whim.

The production is mostly credited to Nick Underwood.  He serves as writer, producer, co-composer and lead actor.  As an actor, Underwood is quite good, creating an instantly likeable character and switching between narrator and active player with ease.  He is joined onstage with Melody Grove, who more than equals Underwood’s energy and likeability.  Director Sam Rowe also contributes well, creating many nice images and contrasts of pace.

However, the production is let down some by Underwood the writer.  There’s nothing particularly wrong with the script; it’s literate and tells its story well.  However, it’s hard to find much to get excited about a story that is, for the most part, pedestrian.  There are attempts to darken the hue of the story, but most of these twists are almost clichés from similar tales.  And while the play-on-words and rhyming lines can be fun, they can also be grating, even predictable.

What isn’t predictable, however, is the design concept.  Mark Melville’s sound and music are hypnotic and add nice flourishes to the production, but it is Kai Fischer who is the true champion.  His set, lighting and video projections are works of beauty that add much needed poignancy.  It’s rather amazing what he is able to achieve, and his work is a lesson to present and future practitioners as to what design can contribute and accomplish, even in small spaces.

Written for Onstage Scotland

Playing at the Tron until March 27, 2010.


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