One Mississippi

There’s little obvious theatrical artifice on show; just four actors, in casual clothes, sitting or lying on the plain black floor of an empty stage as the audience comes in. Mariem Omari’s script, we read in the programme, is based on verbatim interviews with a diverse range of men across Scotland, which she believes confirms the increasingly held belief that Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) are among the leading causes of substance abuse, depression and suicide.

Given the self-imposed limitations on staging, director Umar Ahmed keeps everything moving at a good pace without ever losing focus

“Toxic. Complete carnage,” is how Scott Kyle—best known for playing Ross in the Outlander series—describes the relationships that grew up around the council-scheme-raised man to whom he gives a voice. But there’s no monopoly on abuse, as we learn. There’s Manjot Sumal’s comic book-loving asian youth, who doesn’t want to be the one who leads from the front—or even seen smiling in public—in case it attracts the attention of the red-faced bullies. There’s Adam Buksh’s Buffy The Vampire-Slayer-loving gay Muslim, and finally Mark Jeary’s Belfast born child of “The Troubles”.

Given the self-imposed limitations on staging, director Umar Ahmed keeps everything moving at a good pace without ever losing focus, no mean feat given that the script constantly jumps from one man’s story to the next, with the other cast members suddenly playing parents, neighbours and others as and when required. Despite the seriousness of the subjects and experiences being raised, there are even plenty of laughs; not least the “David Lynch aspect of Belfast” where your neighbours could quite literally turn round and kill you, or Kyle’s “character” unashamedly saying: “I stopped self-harming when I discovered heroine”.

The scariest thought, and arguably the only significant theatrical device through the entirety of One Mississippi, is the idea that the four men in front of us—abused and bullied as the “Faggot”, the “Ned”, the “Paki” and the “Fenian”—are not just opening up about their own childhood experiences, but doing so publicly. If nothing else, it’s clear that this doesn’t, for the most part, happen in real life—with all too deadly consequences.

Reviews by Paul Fisher Cockburn


One of Two

Scottish Storytelling Centre

Moira in Lockdown

Laughing Horse @ Bar 50

Love and Sex on the Spectrum

Royal Lyceum Theatre

Mrs Puntila And Her Man Matti


Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £1.7m to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now



The Blurb

A dynamic new work exploring the impact of childhood experiences on men’s adult lives. Blending humour and storytelling with powerful elements of physical theatre, One Mississippi’s an uncompromising insight into what takes us to breaking point.

Most Popular See More

The Play That Goes Wrong

From £27.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Mousetrap

From £30.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Mamma Mia!

From £15.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Lion King

From £46.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Book of Mormon

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Tina - The Tina Turner Musical

From £12.00

More Info

Find Tickets