Clutter Keeps Company (3 stars)

Clutter Keeps Company

The title of this new young adult production from Birds of Paradise is so eye-catchingly obtrusive, it’s a surprise to come out after 80 minutes and realise that it’s really kind of irrelevant to the story. However, Davey Anderson’s packed-out script – the tale of a teenage boy with Aspergers and the assorted characters he encounters over a weekend – at times feels a little cluttered itself, weighted down with a surfeit of plot elements.

It’s a shame, because the main characters are big, skilfully drawn, soulful parts, and could do with a little breathing space. That said, while there’s a lot happening here, most of it is great: brilliantly energetic, with some lovely poetic moments and lots of truly witty character-based humour.

All four actors, hardly pausing for breath, take on multiple roles, including that of the narrator, and so function as live audio description for sight-impaired audiences (every word spoken is simultaneously subtitled for hearing-impaired audiences, too). This agglomeration of detail is turned into a production style by seamlessly slick choreography, so well integrated into the fast-flowing, continually updated narrative that you almost wouldn’t realise there was choreographed movement in here at all. Movern Gregor’s excellent direction deserves a mention too: the whole production has clearly been rehearsed with near-military precision, but the actors make it look spontaneous.

Currently touring throughout Scotland. Seen at Tramway, Glasgow, Wed 17 Feb

Clutter Keeps Company

Birds of Paradise Theatre Company presents an accessible tale about defying bedtimes and babysitters to run away to the shows.


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