Odyssey is unlike anything else
SINCE 2004, The Paper Cinema theatre company has combined live music, animation, and film to present an entirely unique theatrical experience.
The diversity of their presentation has seen them play at such different venues as Tate Britain and The Barbican, while also taking part in the Edinburgh Forest Fringe, BBC Film, and Latitude Festivals.
Despite having never produced a feature-length work before, the company has built on the experience of their smaller works and adapted one of the most revered pieces in classical literature: Homer's Odyssey.
Odysseus, King of Ithaca, is called upon to fight in the Trojan war, and leaves behind his loving wife and young son in order to do so. However, the prolonged siege of Troy and then Odysseus' journey home takes 20 years, and on the way, the King has great and terrible adventures, shipwrecking on an island where a giant cyclops hunts him, travelling through the underworld, and resisting the temptations of the Sirens' call.
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Whatever else the original Odyssey may contain, The Paper Cinema's adaptation of it remains an intimate affair, focussing on the relationship between Odysseus and the wife and child he leaves behind. It's a story that though there is real spectacle to behold, it is the emotional content that people will really remember.
What is most remarkable about the production is the way in which it is presented. Manipulating illustrations in front of a camera projected onto a large screen behind them, the puppeteers tell the story with tremendous skill, employing recognisable film language such as differing perspective, flashbacks, and even use some special effects to do so.
It's beautifully choreographed and further enhanced by some terrific live music that really drives home the emotion of the production.
The Paper Cinema's Odyssey is an astonishing production: sensitive and mature in tone, innovative in its presentation and performed with incredible skill. You won't see anything else like it.