ONE – (THE OTHER)
nytheatre.com review by Ivanna Cullinan
Seeing One – (the Other) by the UK’s Perpetual Motion Theatre
gave me the pleasant experience of having to eat my words. I had been
wondering aloud to a friend if performance pieces ever have a visceral
impact. Indeed they do, and this piece was so wonderful that I am
definitely going to find a way to see Perpetual Motion’s other FringeNYC
piece, Perfect. One – (the Other) is a show where you are
actually able to simply go and be receptive, the production is full
enough to happen—no analysis necessary.
August 15, 2002
In the dark of TNC’s Cino Theater, a hot orange desert image appears and an anonymous traveler enters. In a variety of languages, he starts to speak: "Even paradise has clouds", "I need to feel thirsty again" and, most importantly, "what’s your name?" As noted in the program, everyone is at some level a foreigner. The production explores the ways that anyone can feel alien, even within a world they recognize, with a vividness that adheres to your gut.
Now, the traveler’s phrases interested me but due to the fans, he was not easy to hear. However, not being able to hear text bothered me (the text-junkie) more than the person I was with. She didn’t mind at all, being far more fascinated with the movement, which was wonderful: feet articulating the sounds of trains (and I want to convey in that phrase something far less rudimentary than pantomime and much more fun), bodies reacting to invisible crowds—the bumps going as far as accidental couplings with strangers—as well as scenes from a rave, a seduction, a lesson. Selective images, occasional voices, and the constant communication of the body make this production vivid. Everything from the possible mishaps inherent in learning a new language to the potential disasters that the extremes of loneliness can leave you vulnerable to; all of these make One – (the Other) communicate powerfully to its audience.