Paper House – Collaborations Festival – Smock Alley – Review


When the show opens, the stage is filled with boxes and a single female protagonist. The young woman is opening a variety of boxes and examining their contents. They appear to be presents and she shakes and unwraps each in turn. This is until one of the larger boxes at the other side of the stage moves. It jerks forward before a pair of human legs appear under it and it moves around the stage, looking out at the audience and at the young woman who continues to go about her business. Eventually the dancer under the box reveals herself to the audience, wide eyed and with a grin from ear to ear. And so this unusual tale continues…

This is the story of a spirit that moves into a house with a young woman. We are told in the programme notes that ‘Across the world there are stories of guardian spirits, Domovoi and House Brownies, unseen creatures that protect the household and the family within it’. This is a new piece of physical theatre, that is told with few words from the two actors on stage. The story is sometimes hard to follow but the logic behind it is slowly revealed over the course of the short production.

The piece is performed to music, with a banjo player at the side of the stage, who creates the mood and feel of the story, punctuating the tale and raising the tension.  The two actors/dancers account themselves admirably in this fantastical show that deals with the other worldly spirit and her interaction with the occupier of the house she protects.

by Jumping the Gun Theatre Company – Sat 21st Feb & Sun 22nd at 4pm in The Main Space, Smock Alley.

Running time: Approx. 40mins

Cast: Barbara Ceannt & Sinead O’Brien

Directed by Miriam Needham

Collaborations Festival runs until March 7th at Smock Alley.

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