The script is one that will stick with me. It explores the domains of public and private in a way that at times feels voyeuristic. When just one character is in the room, we get to see the closeted version of themselves that they show to no one else. The most moving scene in the show is completely silent, where we watch Leah alone in her room and unravelling. She just sits there, but we witness each of her thoughts move across her face. However, Jaramillo juxtaposes these moments with play – both literally through Leah and Amanda’s game of ‘Pirates, Criminals, Knights and Astronauts’ and through moments that shift the genre and style in a way that is fun for the audience, like Leah’s witty speed-lecture on Mars. The play is always shifting between reality and thought-space, between the literal and the metaphoric. I strongly encourage Jaramillo to submit this script for Playmarket’s Playwrights b4 25 competition.
One Way Ticket to Mars has a lot of potential, but it can still be developed when it comes to delivery. Lyons, McLean and McDonald do well with their characters, but I would love to see this show again after some stronger coaching from the directors (Tom Aitcheson and Oliver Knott). It’s clear that a lot of directorial energy has gone into the staging – it’s tight – but I’m not convinced that much energy has gone into polishing what the actors brought to the rehearsal room. Each of the actors bring their own raw and relatable moments to the stage, but I feel like they are robbed of the opportunity to give the show their best, which I put down to a lack of direction, not a lack of talent.
One Way Ticket to Mars is on at Tapere Iti at Te Auaha until Sunday 28 February at both 4:30pm and 7:30pm. For more information or to book tickets, visit the Fringe website.