A story of determination, friendship and the power of following your own path, this playful new work delivers a hefty visual impact with stunning and inventive puppetry. Developed by celebrated company Terrapin for primary school aged audiences, The Paper Escaper features deft physical comedy, and an intricate soundtrack.
Tasmania’s Terrapin Puppet Theatre makes theatre quite unlike any other company.
Benny, the plucky puppet protagonist in The Paper Escaper, knows they are destined for greater things than a simple pop-up book. But in a world that’s trying to squash Benny between its pages – from a wily dancing fire to a disillusioned illustrator – Benny will need the help of a new friend to achieve their dreams.
Written by Gita Bezard of The Last Great Hunt, this delightful, funny and inspiring production features inventive puppetry, deft physical performance and an intricate and engaging soundtrack.
Benny doesn't want to tell the story 'The Maker' has written for them. As their parents get nervous about the consequences of defying the 'The Maker', Benny rips themself from his story. Alone and in an unknown land, Benny comes across a mysterious tentacle and friendship blooms. But 'The Maker' is determined and his fire is hungry – and Benny and their friend must work together to survive.
From its island home in Tasmania, Terrapin creates worlds of creative adventure. They engage the best people from a wide range of artistic backgrounds and practices in performance, design, construction, music composition and systems design.
They present to diverse audiences far and wide; from Hobart’s Dark Mofo to The Lincoln Centre in New York, the Taipei Children’s Art Festival to the Sydney Opera House and from the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford-Upon-Avon to Flinders Island in the Bass Strait.
This bright new puppetry work from Terrapin tells a story of determination, friendship and the power of following your own path.
Terrapin visited over 100 Tasmanian primary schools with The Paper Escaper in 2022, bringing its immersive world and vibrant characters to audiences from kinder to grade 6.
Written by Gita Bezard of The Last Great Hunt, this delightful, funny and inspiring production features inventive puppetry (including a giant multicoloured octopus), deft physical performance and an intricate and engaging soundtrack. It is 45 minutes in length, has a touring party of 4 and can have the first show after a 4 hour bump in.
The narrative follows Benny who doesn't want to tell the story 'The Maker' has written for them. As their parents get nervous about the consequences of defying the 'The Maker', Benny rips themself from the pop-up book, leaving their foot behind. Alone and in an unknown land, Benny comes across a mysterious tentacle and friendship blooms. But 'The Maker' is determined and his fire is hungry, and Benny and their friend must work together to survive.
As this production was made for in-school touring, it has existing education resources including hands-on making and behind-the-scenes videos. Here's an example of one such educational resource.
Terrapin and Arts on Tour are embedding Green Touring practice at the core of the development and delivery of this tour. This will be produced as a ‘High Impact, Low Emission’ tour, with an aim to develop an itinerary that allows for self-driving at all times, i.e. where possible no flights required, with the touring company self-driving the freight.
In addition to this, a Week-Long Residency Buy is being offered, which allows for the touring party to spend a week in your community to deliver performances of The Paper Escaper and a range of engagement activities. More details regarding this Residency Buy can be found below.
To foster deeper engagement with communities, Terrapin are offering a Week-Long Buy for this tour which will see the company visit your town for up to 5 days of activities. This will allow for presenters to work with Terrapin to develop a bespoke schedule for their communities with a combination of both performances of the show, as well as a range of engagement activities that Terrapin are able to partake in with your audiences. The exact schedule can be arranged to suit each presenter, but ideally will start the week with engagement and lead up to performances at the end of the week.
Details of possible engagement activities can be found here.
"I’ve loved creating a work of puppetry where you don’t see the puppeteers, building a magical world that is very much alive but has no people in it. This is a very human story of finding your own path, told very dynamically with lots of different puppets. My favourite moment? The disco inferno where Jacky Collyer’s music and Bryony Anderson’s fire puppets come together to get the audience dancing in their seats.
Once again, it was a brilliant Terrapin performance. I (and the kids) never tire of the shows Terrapin puts on.
Photo credit: Darcie Richards
If you are interested in touring get in contact!
Arts on Tour
02 8038 1880
Arts on Tour is based in Redfern NSW and we respectfully acknowledge the Gadigal people as the Traditional Owners and Custodians of the unceded land on which we work.
As we tour artists and productions across these vast lands, we pay our respect to all First Nations Elders, past, present and future.
We celebrate their continuing connection and contribution to culture, country and community, and thank all First Nations peoples for their wisdom in caring for the land, the sky, the rivers and the sea.