Often I have endured the long train journey to Devon to visit one of my friends where I am usually sat next to the person who’s drum and bass playlist is a little too loud or the over expressive yawner or the girl discussing the night before with her friend and very occasionally, a fellow passenger who wants to chat. More often than not these conversations can be a little awkward, usually started by catching their eye or a uniting smile over another irritating traveller.
In One of Those, Tom Ward-Thomas explores the meeting of two separate groups on a journey from London to Penzance. Laura (Amy Newton) is filling out a crossword but needs help with spelling bureaucracy, James (Tom Ward-Thomas) has his head buried in The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo and initially appears reluctant to help. As they begin chatting they seem to be getting along and conversation flows with ease, but as they begin sharing information of their lives, friendly banter quickly turns into over stepping the mark as James passes judgement on Laura’s life as she does to him.
In the intimate setting of a train carriage, emotions are intensified and there is little escape but the buffet car. Ward-Thomas appears to challenge our stereotypes and our judgements of people on face value. We all make them, it’s part of the human condition, we judge and carry prejudices.
In an adjoining carriage Phillip (Martin Ball) is whisking his mistress away to Cornwall for the weekend, that is until they bump into Phillip’s wife, Alice (Louise Bangay). What initially begins as a heartbreaking and awkward confrontation progresses in hilarious exchanges between Davina (Emma Kelly) and Alice as the truth really comes to the surface and the threesome take turns to roll with the punches.
As the events come full circle and the train heads back to London, Davina, Laura and James find themselves sharing a carriage and as they each share details of their disappointing weekends, they have more in common than they think.
Ward-Thomas’s production is wonderfully lighthearted and funny. The talented cast deliver an honest performance that is easy to watch and engaging, there are elements of each character that everyone in the audience could relate to I’m sure. Ward-Thomas’ writing is superbly perceptive and I am sure we will see more exciting things from him.
One of Those runs until 13th February at the Tristan Bates Theatre.