An abstract take on physical theatre and mime, Once… by Derevo tells the tale of a lovesick clown who tries to win the affection of his oblivious love interest. After the hilarious cupid’s attempt at bringing the two together, Adasinsky takes the audience on a rollercoster ride of comedy and bittersweet romance as he tries to prove himself to the local waitress which whom he has fallen in love with. From awkward confessions to abstruse daydreams and thoughts, Once… perfectly captures the complexities of falling in love with someone.
Audiences that prefer more of a linear style of theatre with a defined sense of direction may get lost in the absurdity of the play, however I personally think that it is an accurate representation of what falling in love feels like, even down to some of the darker moments of the performance. Taking their inspiration from what seems to be a mixture of Picasso, Harlequinade/Commedia dell’arte theatre and kitchy (arguably gothic) black & white films, Once… is not just a captivating show but a visual treat as well. It was definitely one of my favourite shows at this year’s fringe and since debuting in the Edinburgh Fringe in 1998, it shows no signs of slowing down.