Scarlet Theatre, Paper Walls

Review in Issue 8-1 | Spring 1996

The house hides a dark secret – the unexplained death of Rex the dog, the mysterious black-gloved hand imprisoning the inhabitants, the gun-shot in the night… The three women who share the tiny space absorb themselves in the minute rituals of domestic life – examining eggs for hairline fractures before boiling them to perfection, obsessively cleaning the windows and washing the crockery. Trips to B&Q are planned with the precision of military manoeuvres and the house is under a constant state of repair and reconstruction, in an endless cycle of DIY. Scarlet Theatre explore the disintegration of the family unit with terrifying and frequently hilarious accuracy. Unable to confront the reality of an abusive past, a mother and her two daughters retreat into a neurotic cycle of domestic routine. Unable to keep pace, the mother is in and out of hospital, teetering on the brink of nervous collapse. Jean, the youngest of the two daughters attempts to ward-off reality with a constant stream of lame jokes and impersonations, leaving Margaret, her older sister, to ensure the routine is maintained and that the dark past is kept at bay. Paper Walls is excellently performed by Grainne Byrne, Christine Entwistle and Jan Pearson with ingenious scenic design and a musical score by Nigel Piper which beautifully compliments the action. Quirky, intriguing and wonderfully macabre, Scarlet Theatre explore a disturbing theme with humour and vitality.

Presenting Artists
Presenting Venue
Date Seen
  1. Jan 1996

This article in the magazine

Issue 8-1
p. 19