FRINGE REVIEW – Paper Cinema’s Odyssey


An epic tale of gods, titans and heroes, laden with blistering action, special effects and spectacular locations…all made out of tiny pieces of cardboard?

And so Paper Cinema create movie magic with Odyssey, an intricate spell woven from two-dimensional puppetry, video projection and a dynamic and creative live soundtrack.

All the while, the executors of the ‘film’ are in full view. As the sweeping action unfolds on the projected screen, we can therefore see the precision movements and pinpoint coordination used to make the scores of small cut-out puppets bring the tale of Odysseus to life.

Two puppeteers create illusions of depth and scale, whilst a second video camera allows for layered dream sequences and other special effects. All of this is continuously backed by a live score from a trio of talented musicians, who also create some marvellously inventive sound effects to accompany the onscreen action.

The overall effect is charming — and technically remarkable. The amount of effort involved to create such a spectacle from the sum of its little parts is hugely impressive, but is almost overshadowed by the achievement of being able to pull off the whole affair live.

The fact that Paper Cinema do so without a single slip and with such a degree of charm results in a flawlessly-executed summer blockbuster of a performance which is an absolute delight.

Paper Cinema’s Odyssey is at Summerhall at 14:20 until 25 Aug.

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