Despite having only landed back in New Zealand that afternoon, and having not slept for 30 hours, I trotted off to Downstage on Friday Night to see Paper Sky.
I found it one of the most creative plays I have seen. The plot is basically a love story between the reclusive writer and the young neighbour – but the strength of the play is how it is portrayed.
The main character, Henry, is portrayed by not just Emmet Skilton (Almighty Johnsons) but has three comic shades played by Veronica Brady, Alison Bruce, and Justin Haiu. They play out his inner turmoils to huge comic delight. It is hard to describe in mere words how well they do it, but it is a visual delight.
The other visual delight is the set. It is a movable feast, that is very much part of the play. Rooms get made and unmade. Houses are formed. The physicality of the actors, the mobile set, the sound and the lighting all combine to a great performance.
Julia Croft plays the perky Louise, the next door neighbour who just will not be deterred. Henry’s alter-egos throw all sorts of barriers at her, and she (literally sometimes) climbs over them to try and bond with Henry. Croft was a natural in the role, and managed to portray a character who is both shy and unworldly but also determined.
There’s other great parts to the show – the paper creations, the sub-text around the book Henry is writing etc. Again, it is hard to capture these in writing because unlike many plays where the strength of the play is the dialogue – this play has relatively little dialogue – it is a 70 minute visual treat.Downstage, Reviews