What would you do if you and a member of the opposite sex were tasked with starting the human race all over again? That is, er, possibly the scenario posited by Third Angel and Mala Voadora’s ‘The Paradise Project’, a deliberately cryptic show in which a man and a woman – perhaps the only man and woman left alive, perhaps just sequestered from the rest of humanity for unknown reasons – attempt to forge society afresh.
They build furniture; they amuse themselves with daft, playground humour (repeating everything the other one says and the like); they bicker over the laws of their new society (this essentially comes down to a series of hysterically petty disagreements over how their supply of water should be distributed); and occasionally they open filing cabinets to read out descriptions of various historical ‘attempts’ (attempts by the human race, I think, to find or create paradise, though most end horribly).
It is a slippery hour of theatre, but absolutely made by performers Stacey Sampson and Jerry Killick. He is soft spoken but wildly pedantic; she is mischievous and disruptive; together they have… something, a sparky idealism, a winning ability to not be broken by their situation or each other. It certainly isn’t a romance – though sex is not ignored – but a show about two people facing an impossible situation, and coping. I’m sure there will be those who will feel the pair in fact fail to transcend the tedium of their situation, but I could have watched their boring/fascinating lives for longer, a new Adam and Eve facing a brave new world with kitchen sink dignity.