OTHERS: The Paper Birds Theatre Company: Pleasance Courtyard (Venue 33): 04 – 29 Aug 2010: 1520 hrs
0131 556 6550 www.thepaperbirds.com
Running time: 1 hour no interval
Review: Mark Courtice 23rd August 2010
Exploring the lives of other women
This devised show is about three different women – a celebrity, an Iranian housewife and a prisoner in a British jail. The concept relies on using the verbatim responses of these women to a request from Director Jemma McDonnell to explore their world, and the response of three actors to these.
Scarcely ordinary women in the first place, this eclectic group offers Jemma and her company the chance to imagine the nature of these disparate lives. In the best sequence of the show they describe the world of a woman they hear outside, becoming gradually more outrageous. The same technique applied to the life of the Iranian goes on too long however.
The whole is neatly done, with the company of three women providing energy and charm. The timing’s spot on, and the performances technically assured even if they are not much stretched beyond the winsome. Shane Durrant plays appropriately sketchy music to accompany things.
There actually isn’t much to this show, however. At one stage someone says "..this isn’t about us", but it is. Certainly it doesn’t tell us much about the correspondents, one of whom (Heather McCartney – the celebrity) doesn’t even reply. Sally, the prisoner, may have interesting things to say about her world, our trio are just agog to know what crime she has committed.
Bulking it up with technique and actorly charm doesn’t disguise thin material, and it feels like this show has some way to go before it meets its ambitions.
Devised and performed by Jemma McDonnell, Kylie Walsh, Maryam Hamidi
Music composed and performed by Shane Durrant
Design Ellen Dowell
Lighting Marec Joyce