Only Once

A play for professional and amateur actors, late teens to early twenties

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.

Only 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.'

"Only 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.

Commissioned by Wycliffe College, Stonehouse

First performed by students of the College, 1997

First published by Line By Line, 1998

Buy On-line

If you have trouble buying, mail me.

All contents are ©Aidan Chambers unless otherwise stated.



Back to Top