Paperbelle kids show highlights power of imagination

Paperbelle kids show highlights power of imagination

Amazing things happen inside a child’s imagination – an old twig becomes a magic wand, a cardboard box a castle. And, as theatre director Heather Fulton discovered while working with nursery children, a small piece of paper can come alive with all kinds of personality traits.

‘I just used a really plain cut-out figure,’ explains Fulton, ‘and it was interesting to see how the children connected with it. She instantly became a character, and they didn’t need a lot to make that happen – it didn’t need to be animated or have expression on its face. They called her Paperbelle, and the idea for our next show came from that.’

Performed by Frozen Charlotte Productions, Paperbelle takes place in a world made of paper. Light, dark, textured, plain – the only common factor paper is the absence of colour. But whereas Paperbelle’s friend (played by actor Stanley Pattison) wants to let some colour into their lives, the little paper girl is keen to keep things plain.

‘The paper world is fine, but it could be so much more,’ says Fulton. ‘So the colour adds something extra, and by the end it’s like a big colour party.’ On a deeper level, Paperbelle touches upon the way friendships are experienced by the show’s target age range of 2-5.

‘It’s about their relationship and how they learn to play together with some of the colours but realise that sometimes they’re better off playing on their own,’ explains Fulton. ‘It’s a kind of journey for them, and we’ve been comparing it to a child going into a nursery for the first time – they might get on with some of the children really well, but others might be a bit too much.’

North Edinburgh Arts Centre, Fri 24–Wed 29 Sep, then touring

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