Review: One Way Out

A poignant tale of resilience and resistance

theatre review (edinburgh) | Read in About 2 minutes
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Image courtesy of Underbelly
Published 08 Aug 2023

Following a group of four friends in South London, One Way Out is a complex look at the treatment of young men of colour and working class backgrounds. On receiving their A Level results, their lives spin out from one another’s: university, work, the Home Office, and abuse. Its critique of our government and its violence – particularly in relation to the Windrush crisis – is crucial and poignant. Angering, joyful, and very necessary, One Way Out centres male platonic love with the depth and honesty it so deserves.

The undeniably talented cast carries the story with such brilliance, their energy filling the room without force or falsity. There’s a unity and commitment to their movements, bursting across the stage with laughs and shouts. And yet, attentiveness isn’t sacrificed for grandeur; the slower, more sombre moments are approached with care. One Way Out is worth it, purely for this. 

Amid this, its humour cuts just right: silly, a bit subversive, and always utterly right. There’s a sense that the audience are meant to enjoy each laugh, to join in, and it’s warming to be welcomed in this way.

There’s moments when the plot gets a little knotted: it’s unclear how one character came to know something or how much time has passed since the last scene. It demands we give into its logic – or, sometimes, lack of – but One Way Out makes this easy for us, with a cast and story so thoughtfully captivating.