Sarajevo MESS Festival

Last week The Paper Cinema whizzed over to Bosnia to take part in the MESS Festival, to deliver a workshop and perform a show. The festival itself began in the sixties and is a monument to the determination and spirit of the organisers and participants – each October it presents around 50 productions from all over the world. During the siege of Sarajevo the festival continued, which is an overwhelming thought.

I had not visited Bosnia before so was amazed and awed in equal measure at the history of the city. Seeing Ottoman buildings in all their glory, and then walking ten minutes further on to see a wall covered in gunshots, is not something I will forget.

Our show was at maximum capacity and had sold out two weeks previously, which was tremendously exciting for us. The festival organisers encouraged people to attend with or without tickets, and when showtime arrived there were many people squeezed and huddled in, sat in every corner of the room possible, with no floor left bare! It made for a pretty electric atmosphere. I really appreciated the zeal and spirit the audience provided.

Here is myself and guitarist Celestino outside the theatre after our fist day setting up, and also myself as a puppet! Thank you to everyone at MESS Festival, all the audience and workshops participants, and The British Council for making it happen. We really hope we can visit again.

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“We are So Shanghai right now”

Touchdown! After our trip in September 2014, the new touring team of Paper Cinema had the fantastic opportunity to visit China once again, preceded with  a week in Taiwan. What incredible places! During June we visited Kaohsiung, Beijing, Shenzhen and Shanghai, performing at various venues. The audiences were very warm and receptive, and we had some stimulating Q&A’s after many shows and a great workshop in Kaohsiung.

A highlight for me had to be attending a folk music concert with the incredible Qing Ge-le, a horse-head violinist extraordinaire! Finally, I had the chance not only to hear and watch the instrument being performed live, but also to meet the Master backstage, and have a try of the horse head violin. WOW!  Needless to say – I was dreadful, as it is far more tricky than it looks.

Thank you China and Taiwan for an amazing trip.

I’ve Got A Sneaky Feeling…

…that it’s nearly the end of the tour. Oh no!!!!!!!!!  After many many locations, soundchecks, a driving test, a trip to Paris, possibly 100 catnaps, the whole genre of Travelodge from early 80s to 2015, numerous ceremonial carpet-laying moments, a generous amount of crabbing up and down stairs, cheese, chocolate, a few moderate drinking sessions, cheese, a healthy dose of I Spy, a few tantrums, detox, retox, did I mention cheese? amazing shows, amazing audiences, brilliant people to work with, good violin days, bad violin days, a fair few explanations about the musical saw….wowee!! And yet I still can’t quite make the sound of a seagull.  I did do a bit of field research with this chap below in Caernarfon, so maybe I can perfect it for this last week.  So if you haven’t seen the show already, there is one week left!  Lancaster and Manchester.  See you there!

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