‘Three options, as I see it – they’ll kill it off entirely, you’ll let it die of natural causes, I’m going to make it live again.’
When the owner of a Sheffield scissor manufacturer dies, the future of the factory site falls into uncertainty. Can it be reborn as a fashionable music venue, converted into luxury apartments, or somehow reinvigorated so the old business can survive?
There’s more than just money or bricks and mortar at stake. It’s about knowing where you fit in the world – knowing that somewhere there’s still a place for you.
Fresh, funny and heartfelt, Rock / Paper / Scissors are three intricately interwoven plays by Chris Bush about family, heritage and legacy. They were first performed simultaneously with the same cast moving between three theatres in Sheffield – the Crucible, the Lyceum and the Studio – as part of Sheffield Theatres’ fiftieth birthday celebrations in 2022.
While the three plays can be enjoyed separately, they also offer a uniquely rewarding opportunity for any company looking to take on the challenge of staging them together.
‘The biggest theatrical event this year, and you’d be hard pushed to recall a better one’
‘An audacious, sharp-edged trilogy… exhilarating in its ambition… intertwines comedy, romance and political rage to dazzling effect’
‘A technical and artistic triumph – an incredible achievement… Chris Bush is quickly becoming one of the country’s most prolific playwrights, and she’s imbued these stories with the kind of heart and warmth we’ve come to expect from her work… Part of the thrill is watching how all three plays intermesh seamlessly, where any unforeseen delay or error could have a knock-on effect that would be disastrous for the other productions. The scale of Rock / Paper / Scissors only really becomes clear at the end. Having watched these characters develop over the course of eight hours, you realise you’re going to really miss spending time with them’
— The Stage
‘Spectacular – and incandescent… Though any one of the plays could stand alone, watching them all on the same day is thrilling… the productions are precision-tooled, the relationships intricately interlocked… Bush’s writing combines slashes of sharp, salty wit with an embracing, warm humanity, and a gimlet-eyed perspicuity about what we most value and why… The dialogue zings and crackles… a triumphant ensemble piece’
‘Startling, challenging, outrageous’
— British Theatre Guide
‘A theatrical first… a daring coup de théâtre… a technical and thespian triumph… bursts with artistic merit, no glorified gimmick… it genuinely is more than the sum of its parts… Chris Bush has in her sights nothing less than the future of post-industrial England, as refracted through a fictional local story… it all sharpens to a point in Scissors where the wit flies with the welder sparks and the piece asks urgent, political questions about the gulf between the generations and the future of work… theatre’s outlook is rosy if it lies in such ambitious hands as these. Triple fist-bump to one and all’