- Alastair Mabbott
- 31 July 2008
This article is from 2008.
Near-silent play explores the soul vacuum of office life
‘We want to create something so dense that when people watch it everyone has an immediate response, or a response that trickles down a couple of days later while they’re still thinking about it,’ says Sébastien Lawson of theatre company Top Of The World.
In 2005, the company performed Homemade in people’s living rooms, and Paperweight also attempts to side-step preconceptions about entering a theatre space. Lawson shudders a bit at the term ‘site-specific’, but the group has taken over Assembly’s 30-seater Scott Room for the duration of the run and built an office environment for this mostly silent comedy, in which two men struggle to cope with a stressful workload.
‘It’s basically about how you can co-exist with people but not really know them,’ he says. ‘Also, the sense you get in certain workplaces that there’s kind of a vacuum of soul there.’
In keeping with the company’s approach to live theatre, the production grew organically. ‘It got to a point where we had 300 pieces of paper and had to whittle it down. So I guess there is a script, in that there’s a stack of paper with ideas on them, but we know what order they come in now.’
Assembly Rooms, 623 3030, 5–24 Aug (not 11, 18), 5pm, £10–£12 (£8–£10). Matinees 14 & 15, 21 & 22 Aug, 2pm. Previews 1–3 Aug, £5.