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Third Angel & mala voadora present

The Paradise Project / Projeto Paraíso

A co-production with Teatro Maria Matos & Warwick Arts Centre

Jerry Killick, Chris Thorpe
or Rachael Walton

Tânia Alves, Jorge Andrade, Alexander Kelly 
or Stacey Sampson

Conceived and devised by
Jorge Andrade
José Capela
Alexander Kelly
Chris Thorpe
Rachael Walton

In collaboration with
Tânia Alves
David Cabecinha
Lucy Ellinson
Jerry Killick
Stacey Sampson
Fernando Villas-Boas

With creative input from
Hannah Butterfield
Mark Maughan

Fernando Villas-Boas

José Capela with image editing by António MV Tiago Pinhal Costa

Lighting Design
Jim Harrison
Eduardo Abdála

Sound Design
Rui Lima
Sérgio Martins
Ivan Mack

Technical Manager
Craig Davidson

Technical Intern
Michael Gooch

Video Documentation
Jorge Jácome

(Rachael & Jorge)
José Carlos Duarte

(Jerry & Stacey, Jerry & Tânia)
Alexander Kelly

Imagine a place better than where you are.

Every day they come in and try again.
They try to figure out how to live together.
They try to find a place to be.
They start to build something that will never be completed — at least, not within their own lifetimes.

And every day it works.
Or it doesn’t.
Well, it depends how you measure it.

So today — today they will try something different.

The Paradise Project is full of wit, intelligence and humanity. Join Third Angel (Sheffield) & mala voadora (Lisbon) for a show about following instructions, inventing your own rules and keeping trying.


sharp writing, great performance, and excellent scenography… It is interesting to note that conception and design of The Paradise Project is credited jointly to both collaborating companies and the two performers, implying that the creation of the design was an intrinsic part of the devising of the piece. This is how it feels – words, physical action, and visual imagery seamlessly interweaved. Both actors are totally at home in their stage environment, a delight to watch and listen to – you really do forget they are acting a lot of the time, which is perhaps the highest compliment. Total Theatre

engaging with the big issues about how we live with a fierce intelligence The Guardian

★★★★ sublime, moving… Killick and Sampson are an endearing and consistently engaging double act The List

★★★★ a slippery hour of theatre… a new Adam and Eve facing a brave new world with kitchen sink dignity Time Out

★★★★ the carefully witty and satirical script and the actors’ lovely improv-feel delivery become quite addictive, and quite illuminating The Skinny


Download the full performance text of The Paradise Project here. 


You can read Performance as (Re)construction: mala voadora and Third Angel’s Projeto Paraíso / The Paradise Project, Francesca Rayner’s in depth reflection on the show in Contemporary Portuguese Theatre: Criticism and Performance (2010 - 2016) (Edições Colibri, 2017).

Production & Management
Hilary Foster
& Liz Johnson (Third Angel)
Manuel Poças, Joana Santos
& Vânia Rodrigues (mala voadora)

With special thanks to:

Renske Doorenspleet
Steve Fuller
Peter Marshall
Maria Do Mar Pereira
Ian Stewart
Nathaniel Tkacz
Emilie Whitaker.

With thanks to: 
Daniel Pinheiro; Daniel Worm d’Assumpção; Prado; Matt Burman, Paul Warwick, Ed Collier; Zoukak Theatre; Sheffield Theatres; all of the staff at Teatro Maria Matos and Warwick Arts Centre.

A co-production with Warwick Arts Centre, Maria Matos Teatro Municipal and House on Fire, with the support of the Culture Programme of the European Union. Supported by Companhia Nacional de Bailado, Largo Residências and Caixas Baratas.

Supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England, Sectretario de Estado da Cultura and DG Artes.


Further Reading:

The Beauty of the Proof

Inspired by our conversation with Professor Ian Stewart at Warwick Arts Centre.

Contemporary Theatre Review: Electoral Theatre
Stephen Bottoms (Ed.) Taylor & Francis/Routledge, 2015.
> The Backpages section includes If In Doubt: editing, devising and Third Angel, by Alexander Kelly, discussing the making of The Paradise Project, Presumption and The Lad Lit Project. Free e-print access here.

Making & Touring The Paradise Project on the Third Angel blog.

The Paradise Project was the second collaboration between Third Angel and mala voadora following the project that produced both What I Heard About the World and Story Map.

In much of Third Angel’s work over the years there was a yearning for something better. Sometimes that was an escapism, sometimes a dream of how things might have turned out differently. Working with mala voadora on What I Heard About the World, we gathered stories from all across the globe. We spent a lot of time thinking about individuals in their own stories.

So when mala voadora proposed a suite of shows exploring the idea of Paradise – each one a collaboration with a different company – we knew it made sense as the next step in our collaboration. We spent a lot of time thinking about the differences between utopia and paradise, and exploring how these things might be presented on stage. 

Early on we were lucky enough to be supported by Warwick Arts Centre, which meant we were able to meet a number of academics and researchers from the fields of sociology, mathematics, art history, technology, politics and theology who visited us in the devising room and shared their thinking with us. They really helped our understanding of the territory we were exploring, particularly that utopia is a journey, whilst paradise is a destination.

Within all this we found a human story – two individuals trying to build something better. We liked the contrast in scale. Two people with a job to do every day. It’s just that their job is to try to build a better world. They examine society as a whole from voting systems and human rights to basic needs for survival.

The show was designed so that it could be presented by different combinations of performers from the two companies, Person A and Person B, and five different combinations of casts appeared in Lisbon, Warwick, Edinburgh and Sheffield (where it was performed to graphics and illustration students and staff at Sheffield Hallam University as part of an on-going collaboration there).

Overall The Paradise Project takes an optimistic view of the human race’s ability to build and strive for better through two characters as they take on the task of building a new utopia.The show continued to evolve as it toured, with the characters’ awareness of what they were doing, and their mechanism of recording the stories they tell of imperfect utopias changing from one iteration to the next.  

There's lots more information about making and touring Third Angel projects 2008-2017 on our original blog, and 2017-2023 on the blog on this site.