Like all putative Edens, this one also has a snake, in the form of our world slowly but surely breaking through and corrupting youngsters to music, paint and, well, rebellion. It’s a neat idea and the young actors portraying the town’s elder inhabitants are convincing in their portrayal of a world falling apart, though it all leads to a kind of ‘kids good; adults bad’ conclusion that feels rather pat after all the build-up.
The scenes that book-end the explanation – such as it is – of what and why Papertown is add little to the whole either; it would have been more interesting to let it stand on its own as an inexplicable and unexplained concept. As it is the detour into teen angst and family melodrama weaken what has gone before.
Still, there’s a lot to enjoy here, not least some committed performances, oddly powerful set and imaginative core idea. It didn’t all come off, but left a lingering impression behind – and it’s always great to see what YEP is up to, with some undoubted stars of the future among the group. It was, perhaps, a little thin – but it didn’t take the gloss off an intriguing conceit.