It’s amazing what you can achieve with three musicians, an artist and a couple of cornflakes packets. The Paper Cinema’s unique blend of puppetry, music and theatre is as quirky as it is exceptional, as live animation is created from former cereal boxes to give new meaning to the silent movie.
Homer’s Odyssey has never been seen like this before. A dozen instruments – everything from piano, guitar and violin to some kind of cross between an accordion and a trombone, or just a saw being played with a bow – combine to bring an enchanting tale to life, as hundreds of pre-prepared sketches are drawn in front of a camera lens and projected to a captive audience.
Perspective is created through the relative distance each drawing is held from the lens and a range of different coloured lens caps, but it is the traditional black and white that takes centre stage as the audience follows the hero Odysseus on his mammoth quest home from war to his beloved wife and son.
As the name of the show suggests, it isn’t all plain sailing for our hero – who battles a Cyclops, Sirens and the sea-god Poseidon, to name a few – but our storytellers manage to interject some humour along the way to lighten the tone.
At one point, Odysseus’s son Telemachus decides to undertake a spot of hitchhiking as tries to find his father, only to see a truck driving past (yes, apparently they had trucks in those days…) with the slogan: ‘What would you do for a face that could sink a thousand ships?’
Watching The Paper Cinema is akin to walking into a live fairytale – as close as anyone could come to seeing their favourite childhood book come to life.
Revelling in the quite wondrous talents of three versatile musicians and a gifted artist is enough to leave ones jaw drooping throughout, while ending with a rendition of Jackie Wilson’s (Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher was a touch of genius.
The Paper Cinema’s Odyssey was at:
Battersea Arts Centre
Box Office: 0207 223 2223