play for professional and amateur actors, late teens to early
Seven young women and one young man, aged between 16 and 20,
live in a privately run half-way house, a shelter, where they
are safe while recovering from various kinds of affliction and
mistreatment. Then comes news that the home is to be closed.
Desperate to make sense of their backgrounds, and uncertain
of their future, they are forced to confront their differences
and their needs for loving and secure relationships if they
are to survive.
Once explores the part 'telling your story' plays in reaching
an understanding of your past and discovering who you can be.
Written with the co-operation of the young actors who performed
the first production, it demands inventive ensemble performance
from a company which is sensitive to the humour as well as the
conflicting emotions of Ulla and Holly and Covey and the others,
who are facing what it means to be alone, and that, as Trat
puts it, 'Now is where we live. And you only have it once.'
Once is a very contemporary work…there is much in it for
those difficult to interest in anything in print…The issues
are on the surface female, but male interests or implications
aren't very far away…It's a substantial read, in depth, for
KS4. Even better will it function as a powerful ensemble piece
for a theatre audience. There's only one male in the cast of
eight, but no matter. Be daring and change him to a her. Wow!
Phwoar! A 'must' in most schools and colleges, I would think."
Bob Ford, NATE Reviews from the Internet.
by Wycliffe College, Stonehouse
performed by students of the College, 1997
published by Line By Line, 1998
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contents are ©Aidan Chambers unless otherwise stated.