Long Nights in Paradise

There’s a lot packed in to Long Nights in Paradise, probably too much, but it still makes for an interesting story that explores the ups and downs of life, the building and disintegration of relationships and how quickly people’s lives can dramatically and sometimes tragically change by an event or a stroke of misfortune.

Heart-rending but with elements of hope

Scott Cooper enjoys a very comfortable middle-class life. He has the job, the flat and the family that all make for security. But that setting is only the background to this story. In a series of misfortunes all of those are swept away and he goes from the high-life of his apartment to the low-life of the street. It’s the first of several chilling ‘if only’ episodes and exposes the fragility of our existence, vulnerability to external forces and the dreadful sacrifices that people are sometimes called upon to make.

In his uncomfortable new world he meets others who have their own stories to tell and that become entwined with his. Not least the young woman who loves to dance who is a resident in the Grenfell Tower. Soon the play becomes not just one man’s story but a social commentary on housing, homelessness, crime, social responsibility and politics. The multimedia elements of the production with projections onto the white backdrop focus on some of these and serve to reflect his inner turmoil and also provide settings for the story and visuals for events such as the Grenfell fire.

The man manages to hold on to his memories, if nothing else, and there are some moving moments when he relives the joys he has known in flashbacks. But is he also a flawed person with an unsavoury streak running through him that persists in all circumstances or is he a redeemable character who will one day sufficiently examine and reassess his life in a way that will place him on the road to salvation?

Long Nights in Paradise is an ambitious work, with a lot going on. It is often heart-rending but with elements of hope. The breadth of the material and issues raised at all levels not surprisingly serve to give it broad appeal.

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Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £1.7m to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
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Performances

Location

The Blurb

Loosely based on a true story, Scott descends from a comfortable existence in a loving relationship, to sleeping rough and alone. The play is set in the context of the Grenfell Tower tragedy. Scott meets Adara, a resident of the tower. As Scott spends his nights on the streets of London, Adara provides him with companionship, offering a route back to humanity. But when the fire happens, Scott exploits the situation in a desperate attempt to salvage himself. Can Scott start a new life? Can his soul be saved?

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