PAPER is one in a trio of new dramas written by Chris Bush for Sheffield Theatres’ 50th anniversary, telling a story of love, of family, and of the obligations that bind us to each other.
Ahead of the show's opening performance, here are 7 things to know...
Extracts taken from interviews with Robert Hastie and the Financial Times
A standalone play
“What’s brilliant about ROCK / PAPER / SCISSORS is that although the 3 plays feature the same set of characters in the same locations and they share some big overarching themes, each individual play has its own story to tell, and themes that are very much their own.
In PAPER, we're interested in the relationship between fathers and daughters. We're interested in legacy and what marriage means. We ask whether it matters that you're married on paper or whether you can live as a married couple and have a family without needing to get married.”
It's also about creativity. We meet characters called Coco and Molly. They have formed a band called Cocodamol and are setting out on their artistic path.”
Robert Hastie - Artistic Director of Sheffield Theatres and Director of Paper
“At the centre of PAPER is a couple, Mel and Faye, who are visiting the factory that was owned by Faye’s father, who has just died. And they’re looking for the paperwork that’s going to prove that they have ownership because they’ve got big plans for this site. But while they’re there, they encounter people who have got other ideas…” Robert Hastie
“Here we have three different visions, three different generations, three different perspectives. Each of those generations – an older generation approaching retirement, a younger generation coming out of school looking at the prospects facing them, and a squeezed middle – has an argument to feel like they are the most aggrieved.” Sarah Hemming for Financial Times
Tradition versus change
The shows are "set in a scissor’s factory: a one-time exemplar of Sheffield’s proud tradition of steel and blade production, now reduced to a handful of apprentices working in the corner of a building.
The action unfolds over a single, critical day as three generations battle over the future of the site.
Should it continue as a factory and keep that legacy alive (SCISSORS)? Or find new life as a music venue (ROCK)? What about converting the space into upmarket flats (PAPER)?”
Sarah Hemming for Financial Times
Paper is an apt name
A first for the Lyceum
Sticking with breaking tradition, Rob is particularly excited about doing this play because it will show in the Lyceum, which we don't produce a lot of our own work in.
"Apart from the pantomime, the Lyceum is the theatre that we mainly receive tours and present other people's work in." Robert Hastie
A very Sheffield story
"Of course, it's literally set in Sheffield and the characters are from Sheffield but it's also talking about something that that we as a city have to think about all the time, which is what's our relationship with our industrial past?
What's the legacy that has been left by the industry that made Sheffield such a powerhouse as a city?" Robert Hastie
Three words to describe Paper
"Not tried before. Right now the challenge of it, the ambition of it is the thing that's, you know, it's an event." Robert Hastie