Let it be known now: this show is not an easy watch. Not that it's intending to be – in fact, it's supposed to be a difficult, sickening, and upsetting evening – but if you can make it through, you'll witness an almighty powerhouse of a show.
The script is a fascinating piece of work – never hanging on a moment for too long
This one man show invites the audience to be voyeurs to an intensely private, personal moment, as a man dictates to a tape recorder the events surrounding his sexual abuse as an 11 year old at the hands of a trustworthy teacher. Obviously, the scenes in which he goes into detail about the event are harrowing, disturbing, and frightening, but this show isn't just about a rape – it's about a man trying to cope. A man adorned in tattoos, a man who can kill another with his bare hands in 60 different ways – a man who, after 30 years, is still haunted and imprisoned by the pain and guilt inflicted on him by a man he idolised.
The script is a fascinating piece of work – never hanging on a moment for too long and revealing the details of the abuse in tiny segments the piece. This creates a dense narrative patchwork and a fully formed central character, (known only as One), making witnessing his therapy all the harder to bear. Although he speaks candidly to the tape recorder, he still holds back, and there is as much dramatic weight in what he doesn't say as in what he does. One cannot trust anyone since the attack. Sitting there in his cramped attic, surrounded by boxes and covered paintings, this self-confessed killing expert is a sad, broken character.
There are one or two moments where One's stomping and screaming become a little overwhelming and distracting, but this doesn't stop this show being a must see. Fragile is breathtaking and the final reveal, which is played perfectly, is an image not easily forgotten.