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  • Writer's pictureleodoulton

Paradise Craved: How You Fall

Updated: Aug 7, 2023

Today, I playtested Paradise Craved [previously mentioned here], a rather nerve-wrackingly intimate piece of game theatre.

I will not spend overly long on it, since I feel it’s rather special.

It works really well with one actor and an audience member. It may yet work even better with three audience, maybe up to five.

Inevitably, it is a reflection of my obsessive love for Paradise Lost, ideas of craving and loss.

But as the War In Heaven is brought into the world of the show through a gloriously simple mechanic, and guests have the choice to make sacrifices and risks to try and have the chance to survive, something… happened. For some reason, we in the room were drawn into what was going on between us and the war.

The balance was more elegant than I’d expected, having organised it based on a line of Milton. Impossible to win, but possible to lose gloriously, with a final gesture of defiance.

There are three moments I especially enjoyed.

First, the use of something I’d thought of as an unplayable mechanic or anti-game. The story allowed it.

Second, the non-use of another mechanic, deciding it wasn’t worth using it in order to win the war.

Finally, it being described as “the most emotional game of chess I’ve ever experienced.” I am not often moved by my own work, but watching others be drawn in and moved by it was more touching than I’d thought.

Will definitely be bringing this one back. Thank you to today’s ensemble.

A drawing of a child-like figure reflected in a shattered mirror.
It all falls


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