Melbourne Fringe: The One

Marriage. It’s at the centre of public debate here in Australia. And The One is the second of Jeffrey Jay Fowler’s shows I’ve seen with a wedding at its centre, after Fag/Stag in 2015.

Where the wedding of a high school sweetheart was the catalyst to examining the friendship of a gay man and a straight man in Fag/Stag, this new play is about a man and a woman and the question of whether they should get married or not.

The man has a guitar and the woman is a vocalist but they aren’t quite accompanying each other. He’s singing songs of love and loss at her. She’s narrating their lives and while it’s poetic, it’s not quite melodic.

Georgia King and Mark Storen play the couple and are staggeringly good. He’s reserved and she’s fiery. He proposes casually and then publicly and she won’t stand for either.

At the centre of Fowler’s piece is the question of “the one” and how true that can be. She thought her last boyfriend was the one. Now she thinks her new boyfriend is the one. Is there a contradiction here? Or is this a concept that needs to be retired?

The One questions marriage as an institution, especially for these two characters, but it’s romantic in its own way. Isn’t it better we choose each other every day?