One Way Mirror

Jonathan Oldfield brings an intriguing one man show to the stage: sitting in his living room watching the world go by behind his one way mirror out onto the world, safe in the knowledge that he can see out, but cannot be seen. It goes from intriguing to bizarre when he tells you this is a true story – not based on a true story, but actually what happened. Yet the way he has designed this is interactive, involving the audience at pivotal moments.

A unique show; one that asks interesting self-reflective questions

Sitting behind the mirror – a big glass pane in the centre of the stage – he tells three stories from his grey notebook. His writing is richly embroidered with visual and auditory descriptions that bring the story to life in the imagination. The first is a ‘bin man’, emptying the bins; then a man carrying a white plastic bag dressed in a suit jacket and jogging bottoms; the third is about the fast-food place opposite him called “Binge” that serves spicy fried chicken which isn’t quite spicy enough and crispy chips that aren’t quite crispy enough. At a point in each story, the audience is instructed to make a choice as to what he should do: to intervene and interact, or to stay concealed behind the mirror. The choice is made through a very clever set up using pictures on audience members’ phones.

Coming out from behind the mirror; his overarching story within these episodes is also very bizarre: having moved into this new flat just before lockdown happened and then being stuck inside alone for the duration. All this is recognisable of course, but the addition of the one-way mirror looking out emphasises the isolation and separateness from the rest of the world. He talks of his other acting work on Zoom and having to be several someone elses as his only interaction with people taking a toll on his own identity and ultimately losing himself in physical and emotional health issues. It also moves from the surreal to the creepy when he finds a mysterious book about magic mirrors, and gets an audience member on stage to read out the other end of a phone conversation when he is trying to find out about it.

Jonathan is a wonderfully confident performer with a rich tapestry of images created by crisp writing and a clear voice. It’s a well crafted piece overall, although there was a moment of leaving the stage bare for a little too long and starting the show wearing an eyemask has the unfortunate effect of distancing the audience from the show, although his subsequent warmth repairs that. The clever effect of this show is that you can take it on many levels – as just a comedy, or, asking profound and important questions about whether you take part in people’s lives, or take part in your own life, or just watch. Do you abdicate responsibility for other humans when you know them, or even if you don’t, and how much responsibility to take for your own actions. It raises important questions about the effect of being cut off from other people, especially to those who live alone: as experienced as part of lockdown. The audience are invited to choose to be a watcher or be watched, to see or to be seen; and then experience the consequences, with another audience member brought on stage to fulfil a magic role. It’s certainly a unique show; and one that asks interesting self-reflective questions of the audience experiencing it.

Visit Show Website

Reviews by Susanne Crosby

The Actors - Theatre

One Way Mirror

★★★
The Rotunda Theatre: Squeak

Natal Attraction

★★★
Ironworks Studios (Studio C)

Great Britons

★★★★
The Rotunda Theatre: Bubble

Coleridge-Taylor of Freetown

★★
The Rotunda Theatre: Bubble

Strange Orbits

★★★
The Lantern @ ACT

Magpie

★★★★★

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

Performances

Location

The Blurb

Do you ever get the feeling you're being watched? One Way Mirror is a story about the art of people watching, built for extroverts, introverts and everyone in-between. Come and join the ritual as we re-create the true story of a man living with a one way mirror in his living room. “Tonight you will make a choice. Am I watching you? Or are you watching me?” Jonathan doesn’t live in a regular house. He has a large mirror in his living room looking out onto the world. As people walk past on the busy high street, he sees them, and they see themselves. He sees everything: people pouting, people picking noses and people phoning their mum. In his time, he’s seen 3 physical fights, 4 messy snogs and 1 genuine divorce. But what happens when he sees something he shouldn’t have? WINNER of the Brighton Fringe Trapeze Media Bursary 2024 Made with support from Elevate East, Theatre Royal Stratford East and Interactive Soup. With thanks to The Pleasance and Camden People Theatre.

Most Popular See More

Frozen the Musical

From £36.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Wicked

From £30.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Lion King

From £46.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Play That Goes Wrong

From £27.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Tina - The Tina Turner Musical

From £12.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Mousetrap

From £30.00

More Info

Find Tickets