Yes No Maybe

Devised storytelling and physical theatre combine to create a series of rather unconvincing everyday encounters in Yes No Maybe. The six strong company create some interesting moments, but it’s not enough to pull together an incoherent piece of theatre which sorely lacks direction.

The six strong company create some interesting moments, but it’s not enough to pull together an incoherent piece of theatre which sorely lacks direction.

The story is loosely based in an office. We have an obnoxious boss; a frustrated PA, a busking girl on the street outside; the cleaner and various other figures that appear. The issue is that these stories are hollow and lack meaning, which is something you could get away with if you had some developed characters. But unfortunately the word character is hard to apply to the pastiche husks we are presented with. The places where some meaning might have been found were sadly lacking. The PA throws a load of money out of the window, which the busking girl catches, as a result her boss gets fired. Then there is an unbelievably patronising and clichéd exchange between the boss and the cleaning man. These events are not developed and they seem to intend some kind of social commentary which is never realised. The story felt like it was devised to wrap round a few clever physical pieces, opposed to them being an integral part of it.

The beginning of the show was promising, the six of them sleep in a sort of curled domino formation on stage as we enter. Then they wake and snooze in a repetitious cycle, as they stir they push the top domino up into the air before bringing him back down into a second slumber. The way this works is impressive and they appear like a conjoined machine. Another nicely performed comic sketch is a pernickety order in a coffee shop. Our PA decides to make someone else's life difficult for once and gives her order of a chai tea latte with a list of ‘with this’ and ‘without that’ as long as her arm. The barista is then helped by various hands which pop up from behind the table to lightly whisk the cream and put the right amount of sprinkles in this complicated beverage whilst he reads a book. The two actors in this scenario stand out throughout the performance and display some impressive dance skills.

However, the whole show was distinctly messy. The cast was double what was required and on a small stage having actors sitting round the outside really didn’t work. There was also an abundance of unnecessary props, which spent most of the show littering the stage. No amount of equipment could hold up this performance, or fill the void where some meaning might have been.

Reviews by Amber Gregory

Brighton Spiegeltent

Harman

★★★★
Marlborough Theatre

Yes No Maybe

★★
Upstairs at Three and Ten

The Common Land

★★★★
45 Springfield Road

The House Project

★★★★
Brighton Spiegeltent

366 Days of Kindness

★★★
Upstairs at Three and Ten

Lead Pencil and Friends

★★★★

Since you’re here…

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Performances

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The Blurb

Whether we see it or not, possibility exists in every moment… A compelling piece of physical theatre exploring our everyday encounters and the subtle yet explosive impact that they have on our lives. This scrapbook show combines devised storytelling with physical movement. Paperfeet is a brand new physical theatre company dedicated to creating new, truthful and exciting productions that are accessible to all people. “The Spirit of The Fringe” (Jessica Cheetham, The Argus, Brighton Fringe 2013).

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