One Shot at Applecart Arts Online
Winner of Applecart Arts’ SEEDs competition, Julia Szajkowska’s One Shot looks at the challenging prospects awaiting young people when it’s time to make the big decisions in life. Choices are limited, often unappealing, and depending on the individual’s personal circumstances, they can be plain bleak. The struggle, says the protagonist and only character on stage, begins much earlier than youth. From the very point of conception and throughout childhood, most choices are made by outside figures on one’s behalf. This leads to discontent and limits young people’s chances of fulfilling their unique potential.
Performed, filmed and live-streamed from Littlewood Theatre, the piece is followed by an interview with director Prashant Nagar and actor Warren Mendy. The show, coupled with the discussion, invites reflection on the way society, and particularly the education system, tends to pigeonhole and label rather than leave room for the complexity of each individual’s personality and circumstances.
The script, which is set in a dystopian era, follows the experience of a young man as he tries to swim through the pressures of making the big decisions that will determine his future, a theme that will no doubt resonate with many. In this imagined world – which, though exaggerated, takes inspiration from the real state of things – young people from economically deprived backgrounds are only told about a limited number of pathways that they have access to.
The play is a monologue, with Mendy relating the story as the protagonist and occasionally playing the parts of other characters. The delivery is intense and direct, and the tone realistic. There are no visual additions and little physical input into the play, which is quite static. Nevertheless, in spite of its short running time, the production manages to pass across an important message. Most importantly, Applecart Arts offers a valuable platform to voices that ought to be heard more often.
One Shot is being streamed on 17th October 2020 at 9pm as part of the Dazed New World festival. For further information visit the theatre’s website here.