One, Belfry Theatre SPARK Festival 2013

Words fail to do justice to the artistry and precision, the beauty in motion that is Ghost River Theatre’s production of One, currently at the Belfry Theatre’s SPARK Festival.

Writ large with an immense physicality that stretches to every corner of the Belfry stage; painting an enormous artistic vision with sound, light and bodies, this atmospheric tale encompasses the beginning of the world, and the awakening of love; soars to the heavens, and descends to the nether reaches of the underworld.

Under-girded with an impressive soundscape (design by Matthew Waddell) – metal groans, doors clunk, demons shriek, gears tick, whiz and ting – this re-telling of the Orpheus and Eurydice myth is creative, magical and filled with beautiful moments, from the time the keeper of memories, Charon (Keith Wyatt), hobbles into view in his dimly lit offices, to the final sparkle of light among the stars (lighting design Snezana Pesic).

One by Jason Carnew 7Keith Wyatt. Photo: David van Belle 

Philistine (Amber Borotsik) has come in search of her lost love George (Cole Humeny) and pleads her case to Charon.  Stunning dance scenes depict the lovers’ meeting, passions for books (Philistine) and the stars (George), and their growing romance.They bound and twine, play and laugh with abandon.

One by Jason Carnew 4Amber Borotsik and Cole Humeny. Photo: David van Belle

Then George leaves. In despair Philistine searches, and finally succumbs.Caught between life and death, she must decide, and chooses the terrifying descent along the river Styx into Hades to find George.

If the first half of One is more straight forward, it’s the second half that makes us gasp, overwhelmed by the painterly images we encounter as Philistine flees for her life.  Borotsik doesn’t have a moment’s rest in this harrowing pursuit, as she tumbles and runs, exhausted and afraid, chased by the harridans of Hell.

Finally she arrives before Elishiva (Kristi Hansen), and is commanded to take tea.  Tension and fear build in this stunning tableau. Will the lovers be re-united?

The outcome will take your breath away.  One is an innovative performance experience that stands as a highlight of my theatre-going.  Victoria audiences have the great fortune to see this award-winning show during the SPARK Festival. Please don’t miss it.

One is the recipient of the 2010 Betty Mitchell award for Outstanding Production, and the Summerworks 2011 Canadian Stage Award for Direction.

ONE, by Jason Carnew

Directed by Eric Rose, Ghost River Theatre, Calgary


Amber Borotsik Philistine
Cole Humeny George
Kristi Hansen Elishiva
Keith Wyatt Charon

Tuesday March 19 2013 to Saturday March 23 2013 in the Belfry Theatre Mainstage
Approximate running time: 65 minutes.

Ticket: $20. Discounts for: seniors (10%), post secondary students (25%) and high school students (50%)
Online or by phone 250 385 6815 

Audience Advisory: contains the use of stage fog, loud sound effects, and the possible use of strobe lighting.

Disclaimer:  I was offered complimentary tickets to attend One. I was not paid to write a review nor was I required to do so. As always, I retain editorial control over all the content published on this blog.

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