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The Paper Cinema's Odyssey (Edinburgh Fringe)

Paper Cinema and Battersea Arts Centre co-produce this new puppet-based adventure, based on Homer's Odyssey

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

The Paper Cinema is a great concept; illustrated cardboard cutouts are manipulated in front of live cameras by two 'puppeteers', accompanied by a live soundtrack performed by three multi-tasking and multi-talented musicians.

The action is projected onto a large screen, with everything taking place on stage in front of it, allowing the audience to see the full workings of the action.

In this, their latest show and their first full-length 'film', they recount Homer's ancient tale of Odysseus's epic 20-year journey home after the Trojan war, complete with some modern twists.

The manoeuvring of the cardboard pieces is an intricately choreographed feat, and allows movement, texture and depth to be portrayed on screen.

The soundtrack really shines, with each musician singing and playing multiple instruments to create not only music but a wealth of convincing sound effects. The accompaniment to each scene is well judged, conjuring up dramatic, sorrowful or romantic moods as appropriate.

This is undeniably clever stuff, and the performers are all extremely talented. However, some of the scenes feel overly long and repetitive, and some interesting episodes from the original story are either cut short or omitted. As a result, the show doesn't quite live up to its full potential.

- Emma Watkins

The Paper Cinema's Odyssey continues at Summerhall until 25 August