...On Friday night Alicia and I went to Toynbee Studios around the corner to see Paper Cinema.
I had booked the tickets a few weeks ago, without really knowing what to expect - Alicia's fascination and skill with paper meant that the name of the event was enough to lure me in! It is part of this year's East Festival and revealed a wonderful new venue to 'Lic and I that we didn't even know existed. In fact, the performance was a revelation - reminding me why I love East London for constantly surprising me and why I love being witness to something unique and creatively brilliant. We took our seats in an old theatre-esque room, with sloping wooden floor and battered red cinema seats. In front of us was a large screen, above a stage, on to which the film was to be projected.
As Paper Cinema began, the home made title sequence looked a little rough round the edges, some of the hand cut names from card not quite filling the full screen. It was only then that we realised it was all being played live before us - two performers crouched at the front, under a table lamp, held their hand crafted card in front of one stationary camera, that was simultaneously projected on to the screen.
Accompanying them, Roger Eno played piano and accordian live, to provide the soundtrack that was part Amelie, part The Snowman.
The half hour performance saw us delve in to the dreams of various (cardboard) people living on the same (cardboard) street - these lucid, vivid dreams saw cycling birds & elephants driving cars -it was wonderfully funny, engaging and beautiful in it's childlike lack of showiness.
A true one-off, I urge you to go and see the show if it is not already sold out. But if you can only get along to Toynbee Studios for a visit, the bar and cafe are worth it alone for a bit of respite from the bustle of nearby Brick Lane.
"King Pest" : This is not the same performance that we experienced, but gives you a great idea of how fantastic Paper Cinema is.