Delightful. Simply, delightful! These were the first words that sprang to mind as I left the performance of The Paper Cinema’s Odyssey. The Paper Cinema, whose work focuses on creating a unique form of live animation and music, presents a delicate retelling of Homer’s definitive work. In a mere seventy-five minutes of audio-visual joy, we trace the epic narrative of Odysseus’s prolonged absence following the Trojan War.
The Paper Cinema’s retelling is unique. It is also true to the company’s name. The animators use multiple cameras to project 2D drawings and, with four (or sometimes more!) hands at their disposal, they achieve stunning visual depth that resembles much more than layered sheets of paper. Further adding to the cinematic experience of the piece is the presence of live musicians who create, in addition to the soundtrack, the piece’s sound effects. All are produced naturally, whether that is wafting large metal sheets to represent the rolling of the ocean, or the barking of a human voice! Alongside expressive drawings, the live soundtrack is emotive and helps to convey what cannot be said by the puppets themselves.
Throughout the performance the audience witnesses the creative process before their very eyes. It is easy to become distracted by the presence of the animators and musicians on-stage, and yet there is something compelling about being able to flit back and forth between the live action and the creative process. The Paper Cinema’s Odyssey has all-round appeal; whether you enjoy music, cinema, theatre, or art, there is something for everyone. The end result is a compelling silent movie. It boasts ingenious puppetry, talented artists and animators, a fitting soundtrack well executed and a classic tale binding it all together.
The Paper Cinema’s Odyssey was at Warwick Arts Centre on Mon 19 & Tue 20 Nov.