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Paper Birds - Others (Leeds)

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
From a captivating opening which shines a light on our tendency to make judgements about people we know nothing about, the three women of Paper Birds proceed to tell the stories of three such people; an Iranian, a prisoner and a well-known celebrity. Three women for whom it is easy for us to make ill-informed assumptions.

However, allusions to any deeper themes about identity and perception, how we are seen by ourselves and by others never seem fully realised. Through the use of verbatim text and quotes we hear directly from the characters themselves but this opportunity to show that these women aren't just others feels slightly wasted. The initial theme being played out without really being expanded upon.

So we are left as we began, with the well-meaning, yet hardly ground-breaking, assertion that we can't pigeon-hole people merely because of their circumstances.

It remains an engaging piece; the performers have an impressive fluidity around the stage and display a deft, often mischievous, touch which can work both for and against the performance. On one hand the piece never feels preachy but on occasion treatment of the weightier issues illicits laughter which feels misplaced and inappropriate.


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