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Review: Thirsty by The Paper Birds at Washington Arts Centre

Why do we drink?

Thirsty by The Paper Birds
Washington Arts Centre
5th Jun 2014

If three or more drinks makes it a binge session then how many of us binge drink? How often do we do it? And why do we binge drink? These and many other questions are discussed in Thirsty, the latest production from the Leeds theatre group Paper Birds.

Jemma McDonnell and Kylie Walsh met at university. They became great friends and moved in to a house together. When one of them moved to London their drinking sessions became far and few. Their story is intertwined with the stories of the many people who contacted them online and through a drunken hotline. One story in particular resonates through. An 18 year old girl from a small place who is new to the big city in which she attends university. She is keen to make friends and the alcohol helps. Jemma and Kylie try to stick to the positive stories at first. Their engaging manner is only second to their ability to consume bladder busting quantities of water whilst enacting the stories. The level of engagement with the audience includes the annoying antics of hen nights and the menace of the camera phone.

The set consists of 3 toilet cubicles – the third of which contains composer and pianist Shane Durrant who sets the mood for each twist of the tale. The intimate tales suited the cabaret seating format of the Washington Arts Centre. Jemma and Kylie are a well-oiled machine as they narrate their anecdotes working in unison with perfect timing. The have devised a cautionary tale which will appeal to a wide audience, especially the lady who apologises to Slimming World for her once a week binge. The human condition reveals a social animal that wants to be accepted.

The time flies by on this emotional rollercoaster about enjoying a tipple.

Directed by : Jemma Mc Donnell and Kirsty Housley
Performed by: Kylie Walsh, Jemma Mc Donnell, Shane Durrant
Creative Producer: Elle Moreton
Collaborating Artist: Wendy Houstoun
Design: Fiammetta Horvat
Lighting: Vince Fields
Sound: Benji Fox
Music: Shane Durrant
Photographer: Nigel Bewley  

Coming soon to the Arts Centre in Washington is Lydia's House [19th June] - see for details. 

This review was written by Stephen Oliverfor Jowheretogo PR ( Follow Jo on twitter @jowheretogo, Stephen @panic_c_button or like Jowheretogo on Facebook  

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