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August 16, 2010 | by  | in Theatre |
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Paper Scissors Rock

Paper Scissors Rock is a story of both sisterhood and what it is to be a daughter. Bex (Bonnie Soper), Sophie (Colleen Davis) and Penny (Yael Gezentsvey, who wrote it as well) are three sisters. The day after a shock announcement at their mother’s 50th birthday celebration effectively destroys the bedrock of their family unit, and the sisters are left in the house they grew up in to reminisce about both the previous night and the previous few years—during which they have all been separate.

Gezentsvey’s script has a strong dramatic shape to it. The themes and feelings she’s wishing to evoke are also very worthwhile. However, it often gets bogged down in needless cliche and leaves things a bit too open at the end for the story to be satisfying in and of itself. Paper Scissors Rock is, all things considered, a strong first work for Gezentsvey and one cannot help but hope she produces more refined work in the future. Her heart is really in the right place; she just needs to be a bit surer with the structure and form within which she is expressing herself.

The performances are across the board solid. Bonnie Soper’s uptight but not rigid elder sister Bex finds just the right niche between being sensible and being cold and distant. Gezentsvey’s Penny, pregnant and conflicted, is more than workable, though there are snatches of the usual problems associated with a writer performing their own work. She has written for her own voice so at points seems to be failing to really do anything—she hasn’t written a big enough challenge for herself. Colleen Davis stands out as wild child Sophie, bringing a real heart, soul and arc to a character who very easily could have grated and annoyed.

The direction by Dena Kennedy is clean and clear, though a mite more modulation of the rhythms of the piece would have stopped it noticeably falling into a distracting monotonous rhythm from time to time. The uncredited set is nice, if somewhat standard—two couches and a table—and the great scenographic provocation of hanging strips of wallpaper is disappointingly not utilised at all.

Paper Scissors Rock is a solid and strong first work, one that would be worth further development and a longer form (this production runs to 40 minutes).

Paper Scissors Rock
wri. Yael Gezentsvey
dir. Dena Marie Kennedy
perf. Yael Gezentsvey, Bonnie Soper and Colleen Davis
at BATS theatre (www.bats.co.nz), 6.30pm, 5 – 14 August 2010

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About the Author ()

Uther was one of the two arts editors in 2009. He was the horoscopier and theatre writer in 2010. Alongside Elle Hunt, Uther was coeditor in 2011.

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