Paper Capers

Paper Capers is an interactive piece of dance theatre created to ignite children’s imaginations. Breathing life into pen and paper, it is a playful exploration of storymaking through dance, words and puppetry.

Fidget is bored. Surrounded by doodles and drawings, he begins to daydream. Wind rustles the paper around him….something is happening…

Created for ages 3 – 7 and suitable for everyone!

Created by Pip Jones and Lizzie Swinford and commissioned by Doorstep Arts & Dance in Devon with support from Battersea Arts Centre

Running time- 45/50 mins


Paper Capers has been performed at Dartington Space, Brixham Library, Torquay Library and at The Palace Theatre Arena Studio, Paignton.  Here is what the audience said:

Arthur says “It was amazing! The best thing was the dragons face” He wasn’t sure about being here at all at first but from the moment the show started he was totally enthralled. Thank you!
It was lovely, really kept the kids engaged.
Thanks so much!



Fidget receives a letter-  the Story Dragon needs his help. Stuck high on a snowy mountain, he needs children’s stories to help him fly…..can Fidget bring him some?


Fidget’s adventure takes him through a landscape created from paper and movement; 

between the whispering trees

down the river of song...


... past the sticky goblins, through the tunnel of wishes...


Until he finds the creature of forgotten words and persuades her to tell him what to do.



Paper Capers invites children to share their ideas. It is their stories; shared, drawn and written during the performance and fastened to the dragon’s tail, that enable him to take flight!

Enchanting! Lovely storytelling through movement/puppetry/sounds. Responsive to children’s engagement – delightful when they spontaneously followed the footprints. Loved the playfulness.

Through the duration of Paper Capers, as children become immersed in the story, the level of interaction gradually increases so that by the end they are flocking with the remembering birds, dressing as the creature of forgotten words, mapping their ideas and fully engaged in imaginative physical play with the performers and the adult members of the audience.

Beautifully simple…loved the idea, use of paper + movement

Technical requirements

Paper Capers was designed for performance in libraries.  It can therefore be performed with minimal technical requirements but we do require a minimum space of 4m length by 3m depth and 2.5m height.  We also require a sound system for amplification and a sound operator with whom we can spend time rehearsing music cues.

Paper Capers was created for intimate settings, so an ideal audience size is 20-40 children accompanied by 20-40 adults.  It is good if children can have the opportunity to sit on the floor in front of the seating.  This enables them to enter into the action more readily.

We have performed Paper Capers in theatre settings also.  This works well and we would require your technical staff to operate the lights and rehearse cues.



Pip’s practice of instantaneous story making has developed over the past few years. In this practice, the physical and imaginative exploration of immersive worlds draws out children's natural capacity for image making and storyplaying. Dance, drawing, sounds and words can be mutually enriching portals for the imagination and this practice makes space for a special kind of listening to support creative exploration.

Lizzie’s interest in improvising with children using a playful and interactive approach has developed through her work with the Devon Carousel Project.  Her dance and storytelling practice in libraries began with Flim Flam, a project supported by Dance in Devon and is continuing in the Carousel Project’s current Exploratale workshops in Tiverton, Honiton and Exeter libraries where Lizzie works with the visual artist Tamsin Pender exploring stories in a creative and sensory way.

Beautiful and magical