The Paradise Project

The Paradise Project by Third Angel and mala voadora is set in a futuristic shelter-in-construction, inhabited by Stacey Sampson and Jerry Killick as they create a society within which they can peacefully co-exist. Or not. It is a brave piece of theatre and refreshing in its simplistic yet intriguing building of a possible future for the human race.

It is a pioneering, explorative show that a discerning audience will enjoy

Stacey Sampson does strong work. It takes her a while to warm into the character, which could be an artistic choice, but does work against us connecting with her at first. In the later half however her work is consistent, strong and a pleasure to watch. When she has a comic line to deliver she has the audience in bouts of laughter.

Jerry Killick gives a consistently strong account of himself despite playing the less-likeable of the pair. He provides the sturdier, though less amenable platform from which Sampson can flourish. If anything, it might be beneficial for us to have more pace from Killick as occasionally his lines drag, but by and large he is very strong and engaging.

It’s good to see a cast actually making something on stage, rather than acting it or having something pre-made! As well as giving a focus to pull the actors into a task, it also brings a realism to an otherwise futuristic set. The interspersing of scenes with snippets of the pair’s activities (such as the dancing scene) are a delight and this bold choice pays off. This is true of the lighting and sound design too: strong choices that add to the engagement with the story. The piece could benefit from more pace at times, though the loaded silences are powerful.

This show asks questions about society, human relationships, our ability to cooperate and what a future society might hold. It is a pioneering, explorative show that a discerning audience will enjoy.

Reviews by Dixon Baskerville

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The Blurb

Imagine a place better than where you are. Every day they come in and try again. They try to figure out how to live together. They start to build something that will never be completed, at least not within their own life times. And everyday it works. Or it doesn't. Well, it depends how you measure it. So today, today they will try something different. The Paradise Project is full of wit, intelligence and humanity. Join Third Angel (Sheffield) and mala voadora (Lisbon) for a show about following instructions, inventing your own rules, and keeping trying.