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One Year Itch | Barons Court Theatre


One Year Itch is a comedic insight at modern dating as a revolving door. As told by Tania (Anca Vaida), the show follows the journey of an increasingly hilarious series of unfortunate events, recounting many disastrous dates. These range from superficial issues such as spinach stuck in the date's teeth, to being catfished by a man called Lindsay, to a bizarrely British Tilly and her overly familiar mother Beryl, to Louisa (Jhané Gibson) who wants to experiment at being a lesbian.


Audiences will be able to see themselves in the show and relate to a number of sentiments discussed, and the highs and many, many lows of modern dating. The premise is strong and there are patches of great storytelling spread throughout the piece, yet it lacks the cohesiveness to bring them together. As suggested by the title, the show's events take place over a year, yet the story doesn't feel linear, and there are no lasting effects or reflections on characters that we meet. Whilst the show accurately captures the whirlwind nature of new characters entering and leaving Tania's life, the characters themselves aren't particularly memorable and serve more as a caricature than plot points. 


Written and Directed by Andrew Phipps, the show is fun, breezy and doesn't take itself too seriously, yet isn't quite a satire leaving the audiences unsure whether to laugh with, or at the characters, and mostly not in a good way. Vaida, who plays the lead Tania, does a great job, particularly when Lindsay approaches for the first time in one of the show's strongest and funniest moments. 



Ozzy Algar delivers a mature and grounded performance as A-list actor Victoria De Luca, yet is unfortunately let down by an unbelievable and weak storyline. Iona McTaggert shines as Jayne, Tania's best friend, and is an absolute delight to see on stage. Their own romantic journey, whilst a subplot, was frankly more emotionally charged, and offered credibility to the show. However, the character is pigeon-holed into the 'supportive and bubbly best friend' and isn't given a chance to grow. Which is a shame as their friendship is the most beautiful relationship in the show and seen the most frequently. However, it is Buddleia Masien as Tilly Montgomery who delivers a stand out performance. Despite the flat storyline, the posh British persona was impeccable and highly entertaining.  

 

Despite the show being centred on the life of Tania, we never really get a sense of who the character is, and therefore there is a lack of ability to connect with the character. The show throws together a number of random scenes that individually might be momentarily funny, but these often drag out too long, divert from the original premise, or appear out of nowhere.


The transitions between scenes were initially entertaining, with music blaring as the cast brought on future and props. However with frequent scene changes, and an attempt to keep this fresh, there are often awkward moments of choreography for this, especially as there are often too many people on the stage at once, leading to awkward run-ins. Furthermore, the props were often hand delivered to the characters mid-scene, unnecessarily ruining the flow of the scenes. 


One Year Itch is a rather commendable effort and with some reworking, could produce a brilliant show. We see glimpses of this brilliance interspersed throughout the show, but there is a lack of cohesiveness throughout. One Year Itch plays at the Baron Court Theatre until the 13th of January. For more information and tickets, you can follow the link here.


⭐️⭐️


AD | gifted tickets in return for an honest review | photography by Louis Isaacs

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