The story of Odyssey tells
when Odysseus who fought in the war,
was trying to make his way back home to his family,
to his wife and his son.
They keep the kingdom.
My name is Irena Stratieva.
The beginning of 2012
I met the Paper Cinema.
And I became one of their puppeteers.
My name is Francesca Simmons,
I’m a musician.
And I joined the Paper Cinema in January 2012.
We create a unique blend of live animation and music.
You’ll see a large wide screen,
and that’s where the images are being projected,
so in that sense it’s like watching a film.
Then also on top that you can see the puppeteers on the left hand side,
and the musicians on the right hand side.
It’s also been made just in front of you from paper,
and you’ve also got the musicians creating a live sound track as well.
You’re watching a live cinema film,
each performance is unique.
In 2004, Christopher Reed, who’s a musician,
he spoke to Nicholas Rawling, who’s an illustrator.
And Chris wanted Nic to create some visuals to go with his music.
They also met Imogen Charleston,
So that’s when the Paper Cinema was founded.
The company has been together for more than 11 years,
In 2010, they were approached by a big theatre in London,
the Battersea Arts Centre,
who suggested the Paper Cinema to do the story of the Odyssey.
That’s how it started.
And it took them probably one year and a half
to make the whole show from scratch.
I’m one of the puppeteers.
And the other puppeteer is Stan Middleton.
He’s also the live illustrator.
At the beginning of the show, he draws the characters with ink.
I have about 200 puppets on my table.
And Stan has maybe 120 puppets.
And we have to make sure that they are in the right order,
and also in the right angle.
Because sometimes we have to pick up puppets without even looking.
We are sitting opposite each other,
and we have a camera just in between.
And we use a lot of cinematic effects.
For example, coming from distance and zooming into the lens,
so the audience has the feeling that the lens is moving.
And everything is very very connected to the music.
So the musicians are reading from a score.
But there are areas that we can improvise
and we can be free to do what we want.
I play violin.
And then have Celestino Telera,
and he plays guitar,
foley which is the sound effects that we have on a little table.
And then we also have Wojtek Godzisz, and he plays keyboard and laptop.
So the three of us are communicating closely together.
Each night we might have a different mood for the music,
different speed, different delivery in the way we play something.
And that can really change the show,
makes it very unique for that one night and quite special in that way.
We have a very very long setting up, in every new theatre we go to.
We have four cameras.
After which we connect all the cameras together,
and they go through a mixer.
And with this mixer,
we can blend two camera images together on the screen.
So there’s a lot of technical bits.
The Paper Cinema has toured in many countries,
We want to take them on the journey that Odysseus is going through.
So we really try to tell, to bring these emotions to the audience.
We adapt the show slightly to reflect the culture,
So when people see the Chinese characters,
they really like that, you can hear them laughing.
It’s really nice here to get such positive feedback.
Everyone laughed, it was a very nice moment.
And these moments bring the audience and performers together.
We love when they laugh,
and we hopefully make them cry at the end.