Flawed peek into daily office life
This article is from 2008.
Squeezing into one of the tiniest Fringe venues – a modest office in the Assembly Rooms – this two-man show is about as up close and personal as you can get to what’s happening onstage. Arrive early for a seat: you have the choice of a box against the back wall, a plusher computer chair with the back removed or a foot-resting high stool. Whatever you choose, you’ll only be an arm’s reach from the action.
More a slice of life than a story, Paperweight takes a peek into daily office life as two young professionals fight mindless monotony and personal crises with childish pranks and tea making. Unafraid of silence, and tempering the pace to match that of a real-life clock-watching day in front of a computer, Paperweight ebbs and flows through moments of tedium and brief periods of keener viewing.
Brilliantly choreographed around shrewd sound effects and an array of props – which include fiddly boiled eggs, homemade mixed tapes, collapsing shelves and a drawing pin-sucking carpet sweeper – half the fun comes from watching the audience. In such close confines the atmosphere can change dramatically according to each person’s reaction. Sadly, on the occasion I was there, it all felt rather muted and underwhelming.
As it represents a valiant attempt at doing something a bit different, I wanted to enjoy Paperweight more than I actually did. Of course, that sentiment could reflect many a person’s opinion of their job.
Assembly Rooms, 623 3030, until 24 Aug (not 18), times vary, £10–£12 (£8–£10).