Thursday, October 24, 2013

Paper Cinema's Odyssey

The King's Theatre, Ramsgate
18th October 2013

A busy week. Miriam suggested this, as she and the Little Bulb theatre crew got to know the Paper Cinema people while they were both doing residencies at the Battersea Arts Centre over the last year or so. The two groups have a lot in common, in terms of energy, enthusiasm, inventiveness, gentle humour and imaginative, judicious use of technology.

Music was provided by Chris on guitar (highly versatile), ukelele and various bits, Quinta on violin, musical saw and various bits, and Hazel on keyboard, electronics, electric drill, thundersheet, etc. It's ostensibly a visual cinema-like experience combining elements of 2-d visual art, puppetry and clever projections, but the music was an inseparable part of it. I commented to the Chris afterwards that I would have loved it even if I were blind.

I won't attempt to describe the show — they've been getting rave reviews you can read online, such as this. And here's a trailer they made:

The story culminates with Odysseus returning home to his beloved Penelope, the only point in the performance where colour is used (very effective), while the musical trio played a riff over and over on ukelele, xylophone and melodica that was achingly familiar (was it the Penguin Café Orchestra? I wondered — seemed that kind of thing). The ensemble filed out in front of the screen (still playing), the two visual artists holding up "THE" and "END" signs on sticks, and then they all filed out of the hall, keeping that riff going. What was it? And then suddenly Jackie Wilson's "(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher" (what a great tune!) came blasting through the PA — that's what it was!

We went for a drink with them afterwards in a nearby pub, and it transpires they are PCO fans. So we've got them interested in some kind of woodland performance or residency next year. Watch this space...


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