Minor Disruptions establishes a key rule with its audience in the first moments of the show. When its performer, Katie Paterson, blows a whistle the audience must close their eyes and hold them shut until she blows the whistle for a second time. The purpose of this simple rule is two-fold, first to allow Paterson to introduce props, change character, or just make minor tweaks to the scene whilst the audience cannot see. Secondly, and more importantly, it establishes the central theme of odd rules and regulations experienced whilst coming of age.
Paterson uses clowning and interaction with the audience to help portray herself as someone still in a childhood development stage. She then switches into characters of authority, who have a very stern and confusing way of asking the audience to perform tasks. Paterson also examines how we deal with tragedy as a child, by inviting the audience to discuss how their family dealt with the death of a hamster (or similarly-short-life-spanned pets).
Although the show examines the confusing and conflicting messages we digest in our development, Paterson’s show lacks the ability to capture these themes in a way that actually resonates with the audience. She has a clear idea, and has built a fair few moments of authentic creativity, but these do not make for a coherent 45 minute performance. Whilst billed as a “a show with no story,” one could be excused to accept this premise, however the performance often feels a bit lacking in leadership and drifts into the time-wasting area. For example, towards the end of the performance she attempts to juggle, which in part should feel like her showing how we develop odd skills as a child that do not translate into marketable skills, however, it just felt like someone who can not juggle, trying to juggle.
This has all the makings of a good show needing a bit more refinement, which may come as Paterson continues to perform. In particular, the ending of the show feels quite disjointed and leaves the goodwill built through her interaction with the audience, suddenly flat.