The Piece of Paper Paradox

‘The mindless monotony of routine in the workplace’ is how Blue Moon Theatre describe the show that they have brought to this year’s Fringe. It questions levels of obedience and challenges the importance of individuality, making it a really entertaining piece, much more than the blurb gives it credit for.

The mechanical tones and fast-paced dialogue, likeable characters and clever use of symbolism combine to make this a delightfully humorous piece

Centering on four identically dressed males, who march monotonously into position to the sound of New Order’s True Faith, each clocks in and sits at an identical desk. As the music fades and we are left with just the ticking of a clock, they begin an effectively choreographed process of picking up paper, stamping it and moving it to the left, synchronised in perfect unison. Indeed unison was what struck me first about this play: the actors had real skill for reacting, talking and replying in perfect unison, in a way that really suited the premise of the show.

The story follows what happens when one of the four, childishly and mischievously played by Darren Matthews, finds a piece of paper in his in-tray than is unlike any other. It's red.

The red paper becomes an effective metaphor for disruption and chaos. It's not what the paper is but indeed what it means that fascinates, disturbs and intrigues this group of office drones. It becomes an opportunity for change, a welcome break from their routine and tedium. Though the characters are conflicted between welcoming and fearing that change, they can't help but be shaken by it.

The mechanical tones and fast-paced dialogue, likeable characters and clever use of symbolism combine to make this a delightfully humorous piece, which had audience members laughing in my showing. It won’t knock your socks off, but it's hard not to find a sense of compassion within yourself for what this play has to say.

Reviews by Hannah Lucy Baker

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Performances

Location

The Blurb

The Piece of Paper Paradox shows us a world where routine is everything and even the smallest change can have unexpected consequences. In shining a light on unquestioning adherence to rules, it throws a hilarious light on the conflict between our fear of change and the need to break free.

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