In 2012 I performed in my first Paper Planet which toured to Casula Powerhouse outside of Sydney. I’d been waiting for an opportunity to take part in this work since I missed the first season at Federation Square. It seemed like such fun.
We first approached the venue at night, crossing over train tracks into a quiet, industrial area. We were staying onsite in a small apartment which formed part of the old power station. The building is an amazing arts space, and also a venue which we soon found out was haunted with the ghosts of it’s former life! Staff were quick to tell us their ghost stories of footsteps and voices when nobody was there. Our apartment was connected to the main building by a heavy, steel door, from behind which came an ominous hum . . . of course we set about scaring each other and making a spooky film!
The show itself, in the cavernous central space of the arts centre, was amazing. The performers all became different characters from paper and the cardboard forest was soon filled with all manner of creatures and plants. There was a giant nest which was highly contested as a playspace. I remember Dan had a new paper baby on her back each day. One session consisted largely of mummies wrapped head to toe in paper and masking tape. Visiting the toilets after the show we found the remains of a hastily ripped-off mummy costume!
The thing I love about Paper Planet is that it can be anything. It is the most open of the Polyglot shows to different characters and stories. Over the years we’ve had erupting volcanos, a circus with acts from all the kids, a number of weddings and processions, royal rulers of the planet, lots of rabbits, a bicycle courier and a bicycle repair shop, cardboard instruments, a documentary film crew, a caterpillar which transforms into a butterfly over the whole session and may many more stories. There is always a new character or story in Paper Planet.