One of Two

Aug 7 2022 | By More

★★★☆☆     Involving

Summerhall (Venue 26): Wed 3 – Sun 28 Aug 2022
Review by Hugh Simpson

One of Two, a one-hander from Jack Hunter in association with Birds of Paradise at Summerhall, presents a personal story with comic assurance and the odd flash of anger.

Hunter both writes and performs the story of him and his twin sister Bec growing up. Both were affected by cerebral palsy after oxygen deprivation when born eight weeks premature, but to different degrees and to very different responses from those around them.

Jack Huntrer in One of Two. Pic: Beth Chalmers.

Perhaps this show might be misplaced in the ‘comedy’ rather than the ‘theatre’ section of the Fringe programme – not that such things are strictly relevant any more. There is certainly a good deal of gentle humour, as well as more acerbic remarks aimed at non-inclusive educational establishments, and at a certain Eton-educated actor’s propensity for taking parts that might be better done by others.

However, this is very definitely a piece of theatre, directed with sensitivity and a command of pace by Robert Softley Gale. It is carefully constructed and makes good use of audio and video contributions from Bec, as well as some pleasingly old-school projections in the minimal but cleverly utilised staging.


Although generally warm, the piece also has a definite edge, not least in its refusal to present a story of ‘bravery’. Hunter is an accomplished and engaging stage presence, able to build a quick rapport with the audience.

While the material on display is deeply felt and the viewpoint needs to be heard, the narrative structure does not always convince. The use of flashbacks, and references to ‘past’ and ‘present’ Jacks, jar in what is largely an autobiographical (and biographical) tale.

A Darth Vader-costumed Mr Potato Head, meanwhile, features prominently in the show’s publicity and seems likely to feature more heavily, but (like many of the more absurd elements) it soon drops out of sight.

With all performances offering captioning and audio description (as well as some signed performances), this is a truly inclusive affair – welcoming, but with the appropriate amount of bite.

Running time: One hour (no interval)
Summerhall (Old Lab), 1 Summerhall, EH 9 1PL (Venue 26)
Wednesday 3 – Sunday 28 August 2022
Daily: 11:45am (not Mons 15, 22).
Information and tickets: book here.

For full access details see Birds of Paradise website:
BSL will be provided by Rachel Amey, who is integrated into the performance, on Thurs 4, Sat 13, Thurs 18 and Sat 27 August.

Rachel Amey and Jack Hunter. Pic: Beth Chalmers.

Jack Hunter website:
Instagram: @jack_hunter95
Twitter: @Jack_Hunter95

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  1. One of Two - Birds of Paradise Theatre Company | Aug 8 2022