The Paper Cinema is an illustrated song, a shadow, a smoke, a mirror, a puppet show, a cinema show, side show, magic show, a show and tale, a show off. It exists in the meeting of live music and moving drawings.

What happens at the accidental meeting of inkblots, photocopies, cardboard, angle-poise lamps, the occasional table, video technology, a laptop and a banana box?


“I saw this tonight. I'm going again tomorrow!”



Our productions relies on visuals, music and sounds to convey the atmosphere and drive the narrative. Musicians provide the score and sound effects. The illustrated ‘puppets’ themselves are two-dimensional, – where the illusion of ‘depth of field’ is created through multiple ‘layers’ –

It cannot be overstated how important the live music and sounds are to immersing the audience to the world.

2019 MACBETH Paper Cinema Elly White 38.jpg

The Odyssey

Puppetry and live music, drawing and storytelling come together in Paper Cinema's ingenious retelling of Homer's story, which offers 70 minutes that are a cross between a silent movie and a projected graphic novel. It is wordless, but never toothless. The tools – rough-hewn black-and-white illustrations and cut-outs that are transformed through projection into a 3D world – are basic, but the effect is often unexpectedly powerful. Yet it feels like something you could do yourself at home with the kids, and that's part of its appeal. There is wonder in its everyday poetry as it delivers an epic in makeshift miniature.

lyn gardner - The Guardian


Homer’s Odyssey includes gods, men and monsters and is set on several different islands – so it’s a difficult one to stage. But Paper Cinema have found an ingenious and beautiful way round this.

The images are black and white hand drawings, simple illustrations that depict everything from Odysseus’s house, where the suitors wait to pounce on his wife Penelope, to his adventure in the cave with the Cyclops – whom he manages to blind. There’s a chance that those who aren’t familiar with the original story may be slightly perplexed by the plot, but this is unlikely to diminish anyone’s enjoyment of the piece.

It is amazing what these tiny drawings. Despite the illustrations being static in the main, the puppeteers move them closer or further away from the camera’s lens to create a sense of perspective. These tiny, calculated movements evoke atmosphere and suggestion. The drawings themselves are also full of movement, from the way the suitors (depicted as howling wolves) drool at the feet of Penelope, to the furrowed brow of Telemachus Odysseus’s son.

Several moments in the story take on a surreal, dreamlike feel, including an episode in the ancient Greek underworld Hades. Special camera effects are used for this, from blurring to pinhole lenses which brilliantly suggest the inner-workings of Odysseus’s mind.

Daisy Bowie-Sell - THE TELEGRAPH

History →


Now Booking

When you strip away The Bard's language, you might think that this destroys the soul of the piece, but what we may lose in speech is made up for tenfold with music. Christopher Reed’s composition accompanies the visceral piece, scored in an earthly, gritty folk style. Together with fellow performer Francesca Simmons, their sound delivers on atmosphere throughout, from Celtic numbers to spectral undertones.

The Paper Cinema’s Macbeth isn’t theatre, nor just an animated movie; the duality of its construction is echoed in what occurs to the audience.

Dominic Corr

As an exercise in telling The Scottish Play non-verbally – The Paper Cinema’s Macbeth is thoroughly entertaining and would be appreciated by all. Certainly the most enjoyable Shakespeare production I’ve seen in a long time.

Michael Davis

Macbeth →