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One Day All This Will Come To Nothing

Catherine Grosvenor
Traverse Theatre Company
Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh
(2005)

One Day All This Will Come to Nothing publicity image

One Day All This Will Come To Nothing tells two different but loosely intertwined stories about people who have been lost. One is the boyfriend of policewoman Anna (Molly Innes), the other the mysterious Michael out of Paul's (Michael Nardone) past.

The strength of this piece, which is the first play by writer Catherine Grosvenor, is its language and imagination. Grosvenor's text is sharp and insistant when read off the page of the Traverse's published play script, but there is something very filmic about the play's structure.

Some of the most interesting moments of the play take place between Anna and various missing persons (all played by James Cunningham, and each completely distinct from the others). Particular among these is a scene in which Cunningham plays a wounded man trying to break past a police line onto a street that's been cordoned off. Taking place about midway through the play, this is the first time the audience really gets a sense of how fragile Anna's exterior is.

Grosvenor's language is both delicate and enticing, but in terms of plot and character it's very difficult to connect with One Day All This Will Come To Nothing. The relationships between the characters seem muted, with the exception of a couple of scenes near the end of the story, and the pitch and pacing of the piece is, for the most part, even, which makes it difficult to maintain an energetic level of interest throughout.

The script's urban setting sets definite pressure on the characters ready to crack, so one wonders why the designer (Pip Keppel) and director (Philip Howard) chose to use a rural landscape as the basic setting for the play. It doesn't seem to add anything to the piece, and there are times at which it takes away from the play's potential intensity.

"One Day..." runs at the Traverse until 9th April

Reviewer: Rachel Lynn Brody