Longtime housemates Amaliah and Kaveh are a couple in some ways, not so much in others. She’s a Pakistan-born singer and actor trying to extend her residency in Australia. He’s a gay Kabul-born doctor, now an Australian citizen.

Antony Makhlouf and Almitra Mavalvala in For the Love of Paper. Photo © LSH Media

With a possible deportation, looming, they decide to suppress their ethical concerns, ignore suggestions from parents in their countries of birth (where Kaveh, understandably, has yet to come out) and enter the bureaucratic maze as a couple in the hope that Amaliah can also gain citizenship.

Can their friendship – which is a deep one – survive the inevitable bureaucratic hurdles and interrogations they will face?

Written by Sydney-based, Persian-Pakistani Almitra Mavalvala (who plays Amaliah), For the Love of Paper unfolds in engaging style with flashes of humour and palpable warmth, but this production has some rookie issues. Director Kersherka Sivakumaran’s pacing is uncertain and occasionally haphazard, and the show’s 90 minutes of stage time could easily be reined in with more attention to transitions and cues.

For some in the audience, scenes set on the couch are blocked by...