DramaNorth East & YorkshireReview

Scissors: Part of Rock Paper Scissors – Studio Theatre, Sheffield

Reviewer: Christopher Holmes

Writer: Chris Bush

Director: Anthony Lau (Rock), Robert Hastie (Paper), Elin Schofield (Scissors)

Rock Paper Scissors, a triptych of plays by one skilled company of actors is a theatrical first. This brilliant, if not slightly ambitious, offering from the pen of Chris Bush bursts on to all three of Sheffield Theatres’ stages at the same time celebrating 50 years of the Crucible – “Fifty Years of Wow!”.

As one actor leaves the stage, they burst into the scene of another play in one of the other Sheffield Theatre settings – genius!

The Crucible has long pushed boundaries and this trilogy of comic plays is no exception. It skilfully plays around with theatrical convention, provocatively paving the way for fresh, new writing, the driving force for authentic and quite often anarchic theatrical experiences. As we come together to commemorate their golden anniversary, the offering here, made up of individual stories and ideas, is epic in totality, ultimately with Sheffield at its heart.

Each is a stand-alone drama. This review is based on the final play in the trilogy – Scissors.

Seeped in metaphor from the start, Scissors is the perfect story for Sheffield especially given its (fraught) relationship with steel. The Studio Theatre turned craftsmen’s workshop is the setting for this particular play. As the audience casually listen in on the conversations of the working day, the choppy yet structured, quick-fire dialogue is both humorous and thought-provoking in equal measure. Exploring the heritage of Sheffield, a city steeped in history, the play poses an essential question – are we best to create a culture of conservation or revolution? This is another example of how brilliantly Sheffield Theatres stick it to the man!

The cast of 14 certainly have their work cut out (excuse the pun) as they frantically dash in and out of all 3 plays and from one stage to another.

Played in-the-round and with a clear vision these personal stories are a joy. There are laughs-a-plenty but above all else Scissors has a really big heart. All of the players are equally brilliant but one must mention Jabez Sykes’ very strong performance Mason who barely leaves the stage and keeps the momentum going.

The beauty of Scissors is that it is both personal and individual. The play is cleverly interwoven alongside Rock and Paper so that you can see 1 show or enjoy all 3. History was made tonight and long may the work continue.

Runs until 2nd July 2022.

The Reviews Hub Score

Scissor sharp

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The Yorkshire & North East team is under the editorship of Jacob Bush. The Reviews Hub was set up in 2007. Our mission is to provide the most in-depth, nationwide arts coverage online.

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