• Amy Toledano

Paper Straws presented by Pearshaped

What is it? Paper Straws is a new play from Pearshaped that looks at our individual roles in global climate catastrophe.

What is it all about?

Martha, Lou and Joe are climate change refugees. They are pushed through a similar system and land at various points of the same spectrum. Paper Straws deals with individual guilt and responsibility for the current climate crisis.

How did it make me feel?

Paper Straws is witty and sharp. It’s non-linear narrative weaves through the separate trajectory of sisters Martha and Lou and fellow orphan Joe.

It deals directly and firmly with our power and powerlessness as individuals against a dying planet and explored the overwhelming nature of climate change whilst treating mass extinction like a familiar day to day occurrence.

The performances are strong, in particular from Lauren Cornelius and Alice Osmanski who hit a perfect tempo with Martha and Lou.

Naomi Denny struggles to keep the energy in between scenes as audience members open boxes to reveal the next one. This is less to do with her performance and more the choice to have audience participation at these moments. The non linear narrative works brilliantly and adds intrigue but there are questions as to how much having the audience reveal the next scenes added to the play. The same effect would have been had if it had been pre-determined and it would have removed the need for awkward moments of dead time.

Direction from Jess Daniels was simple and effective, focusing mainly on the pace and rhythms in the language.

Anything else?

Paper Straws is for anyone questioning if recycling their bottles and using a keep cup is helping anything at all.

Serafina x

Paper Straws is playing in the Cavern, VAULT Festival, until the 23rd February 2020.

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