Mobile marks the second installment of Paper Birds Theatre Company’s trilogy on social identity. Performed in a disused caravan before an audience of nine, the play aims to explore the emotional ambivalence caused by social mobility. After a brief, somewhat awkward ‘name game’ on deck chairs outside, the guests are invited in, offered biscuits and other hospitalities while our host gives us an overview of her situation. Her story is a familiar one: after the abrupt termination of a long term relationship, she finds herself without a flat to live in or a safety net to catch her. She is forced to return home. Perhaps in attempt to salvage some sense of progress, she shuns her mother’s actual home in preference for the caravan instead.
God’s Waiting Room is a darkly comic play that tells the story of Connie and Stella, two middle-aged sisters whose hospice-bound mother is at the brink of death from terminal cancer. The play focuses on the impact on the sisters’ relationship - apparently prickly at the best of times - of watching their mother die slowly and in agony. It explores how old sibling resentments, envies and tensions explode under the almost unbearable strain of dealing with their mother’s painful and undignified end.
Our modern Western perception of the world drives us to divide lines and shapes into two great antithetical groups; on the one hand, the curved lines and on the other, the straight ones. If the former instinctively recall an idea of organic unity, of a living and genuine shape, the latter can not but suggest the regularity programmed by humans, i.e. artificiality.
Sharp Edges (written and performed by Amelia Sweetland) is an intense exploration of female mental illness. Filmed sequences and voiceover showing Sophie at home are used to break up a series of sessions Sophie has with the therapist her GP sends her to when she complains of insomnia. Slowly, Sophie's past and Sophie herself start to unravel.
Two young queer girls meet in a nightclub and bond over a copy of Oscar Wilde's De Profundis. When tragedy interrupts their burgeoning romance, only Oscar can provide comfort. This new puppet and dance-based piece by Vertebra Theatre (makers of the acclaimed Dark Matter) explores “queer identities and first love” through “visual imageries, garbage film, devised text and dance.”
First performed in 1968 following the decriminalisation of homosexuality and the overturning of strict theatre censorship laws, Spitting Image was the UK's first openly gay play. Seizing the opportunity, writer Colin Spencer centred his anti-authoritarian comedy on a gay male couple, one of whom discovers he is pregnant.
Mine, performed by a new young theatre company, Who Said Theatre, is actor-playwright Georgia Taylforth's first play. While mainly light-hearted on the surface, it deals with some deep issues raised by pregnancy, particularly those of ownership and identity. Can we ever say that we own anyone, even our children?