Posted by Emily Bowman


Yesterday, I saw a performance of 'Broke', devised and portrayed by The Paper Birds. The piece gave us a variety of characters, based on real life events and interviews, struggling with debt and poverty in the UK. It was performed by three actors; one male and two females. 

Although the piece was intense and emotional, there were also moments of comedy and playful physical imagery. There was a contrast between interviews of the older generation and their financial struggles and the naivety of children, explaining what they know of money, how much they think they will earn in the future and what they would spend it on! This is also shown though the set; a child's bunk bed and toys which decorated the space and were used throughout. 

Debt and poverty, both topics we usually wish to become quite ignorant to, were presented in a lighthearted way in which an audience felt comfortable to think about. The real stories and interviews made the piece more relatable and towards the end of the show, we gradually saw the breakdown of characters and the company had subtly turned the piece into a moving, thought provoking story. 

In terms of touring, the piece had a minimal set meaning it could work in a small space/studio but as well as this, with a little re-staging , I feel it could work in a small/medium scale auditorium. Whether the company are planning a tour, we would have to contact them to find out further details. 

Audiences of all ages would enjoy the performance but because of the topics covered, I feel that it would be mainly 18+ who will fully relate to the show as this is the age when money worries begin.

I definitely think this is a piece that would do well in a venue in Lincolnshire and is a highlight of my festival experience.