Paper Shaper

Capital E, Wellington

01/07/2006 - 15/07/2006

Production Details

Devised by: Peter Wilson and Tim Denton
Directed by: Peter Wilson

Set & Puppet Concept Design: Tim Denton

Capital E National Theatre for Children

Paper Shaper is a charming story about a mischievous little man who lives in a rubbish bin… and this is one bin that doesn’t stink! In fact it blooms flowers and butterflies, caterpillars, dogs, boats and more . . . a whole range of lively creations made by the “Paper Shaper” out of paper rubbish!

Paper Shaper uses trickery, humour and the magic of origami to transform trash into treasure. Mysterious as well as hilarious, we join the Paper Shaper on a magical non-verbal adventure into the amazing paper world inside his bin. Full of surprises, as well great messages about recycling, strange things happen when an unsuspecting man tries to throw his plastic lunch box away!

Children will think twice about what they throw in the rubbish after seeing Paper Shaper, a funny and colourful new family show from Capital E National Theatre for Children.

Generously supported by The Dominion Post.

AGE: Ideal for all ages
DATES: July holiday season – 1-15 July – Sat 11am& 2pm (Sat 1 July 2pm only); Mon -Fri 10am & 11.30am.
VENUE: Capital E McKenzie Theatre
TICKETS: $10.50 per person, $38 family pass (4 people, incl at least one adult). Children aged under 2 years of age free.
BOOKINGS: For booking information click here

The Cast
Robbie Hunt & Kenny King

Composer:  Gareth Farr
Origami:  Jonathan Baxter
Lighting Design:  Jo Bunce
Stage Manager:  Jo Bunce
Production Manager:  Tamsin Lakeman

Theatre , Family , Children’s , Puppetry ,

Magic for children #2

Review by Laurie Atkinson [Reproduced with permission of Fairfax Media] 03rd Jul 2006

Paper Shaper at Capital E National Theatre for Children also (like The Dragon of an Ordinary Family) has a visit to a magic land.

When the man in Paper Shaper – after fruitless attempts at throwing his rubbish into a rubbish bin in a park (it keeps getting mysteriously thrown back to the delight of the audience)- is enticed into the bin, he is taken by the man who lives in the bin to a magic world where cows jump over the moon and stars race by.

Also living in the bin with the man are animals, caterpillars, butterflies, flowers and birds. All are made out of paper. The lovely origami work is by Jonathan Baxter, while the Bunraku puppets are performed by Robbie Hunt and Kenny King who are also responsible for the masks, and the music is by the ubiquitous Gareth Farr.

Not a word is spoken in Paper Shaper – its roots are in Asian and European puppetry, silent movies and modern as well as traditional theatrical practices. There is, however, a simple recycling message at the end that arises neatly out of the man’s predicament of trying to throw his plastic drink bottle and food package into what is clearly the home of a greenie.

The 45-minute show is a real treat.


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Trash transformation delights

Review by John Smythe 02nd Jul 2006

Having missed its premiere in February, I can now report Paper Shaper at the Capital E McKenzie Theatre is an utter – well, mimed – delight.

A grumpy park attendant picks up paper rubbish and puts it in an over-flowing rubbish bin. Mysteriously it gets sucked in – and so do we. The little white man on the side of the bin disappears … Magically the rubbish reappears throughout the show, transformed into birds, boats, the sun, flowers, a caterpillar, a cloud, lightning, rain … The little white man emerges, in three dimensions, as the perpetrator: a delightful character.

When a man comes to the park bench for lunch, his attempts to throw his recyclable plastic drink bottle and sandwich container into the bin allows a point to be made about recycling (although logically all that newspaper should have gone into the recycling bin too).

Created by the ingenious skills of puppet masters Peter Wilson and Tim Denton, it is directed by Wilson on a set and with puppets conceived by Denton, using the origami works of Jonathan Baxter. Gareth Farr’s original music, the sound effects and Jo Bunce’s lighting design contribute enormously to the whole.

The rod puppetry is executed splendidly by Kenny King and Robbie Hunt, black-clad to enhance the magic. The men’s masks – and the bin man puppet too – are ‘larval’ in concept (similar in principle to Basle masks). For 40 magical minutes the audience at its opening performance was clearly enchanted and wonderfully inspired to call things out. It is something of a shock, at the end, to realise the whole show has been performed by just two actors.

My only concern is that the transformation of the original paper into the origami results is not clearly demonstrated, apart from the making of a paper hat at the end. I realise it is a complex art that takes years to perfect but if it was possible to see, for example, a butterfly created from flat paper into its wondrously animated form, that would be a bonus.


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