Review: 4**** Mobile – @ThePaperbirds @marlowetheatre

#tweetingit – 4**** The best thing you’ll do in a caravan outside of A…or anywhere!

I hate caravans. I always have. To steal a line from the Inbetweeners “it’s a sense of shitting in a bucket in a cupboard you don’t get with other holidays….in England. …with your parents”.

I’ve never been on a caravan holiday, but for me they conjure images of terrible, parochial trips to Bognor, trapped in a tiny stuffy cabin, watching the rain fall and wishing you’d gone to Europe.* download (3)

And in many ways this is the main theme of Mobile. Not the crappy caravan holiday, but rather the divide between those who have and those who don’t, and the social stresses of that discrepancy.

I have always been impressed by the work of Paper Birds before and in Mobile they have excelled again. Part touching personal narrative, part art installation the caravan serves to highlight the inequalities of the British class system through a mixture of personal stories and pop culture references. Each section of the caravan has a story to tell, be it a tea cup that reveals that the distance that higher education and a better standard of life can put between a mother and daughter or remixed political jingoism coupled with Only Fools and Horses soundbites highlighting the repetition of the lies that politicians have been spouting for generations.

The greatest strength of Mobile is to take a concept that could be utterly hokey and trite and by making it specific to experiences that the vast download (4)majority of people would have had at some point in their life, makes it relatable and personable, drawing the audience in with its familiarity. If you have  to spend  time in a caravan, do it with the Paperbirds!

As a little aside Paper Birds have been shortlisted for a grant from Natwest’s Skills and Opportunities Fund. They need to collect votes to be in with a chance of winning the grant to run a thrilling devising theatre project across the whole of the South West.  They are extremely talented and it would be a shame not to help them. So please click  here and vote for THE PAPER BIRDS at the bottom of the page!

Reviewer: John McCloy

Artistic Director – Jemma McDonnell:

Co-Founder and Outreach Director  – Kylie Walsh

Producer – Bonnie Mitchell:

For more information on Paperbirds and their tour dates and productions see –

* As an aside,  Rhiannon, the founder of this blog ,went on many caravan holidays as a child – one included being in a caravan next to a “light railway” – it wasn’t, it was the mainline. On the same holiday, they had the local RAF doing exercises over the beach…RELAXING. They “downgraded” next time to a Eurocamp tent, where she promptly got sunstroke…it wasn’t nice since the shared shower and toilet facilities were a way away. They’re definitely better off being used for plays!




Published by Playhouse Pickings

Theatre blog run by Rhiannon; a civil servant, D&D player, sci fi fan, immersive theatre lover and gin enthusiast

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