Much like the wardrobe that transported the Pevensies to fabled Narnia, libraries are ‘worlds within worlds’ – offering an indivdual the limits of imagination at their fingertips. Written and directed by Marie Klimis, The Paper Traveller is an immersive treasure hunt that takes place in a library. Each person who goes on this literary trail is given a tote bag with items that will help with finding the answers: headphones, a map of the library, gloves to protect the books that will be perused and an aid to switching on/off audio files.
At designated places scattered between the ground- and second floor, there are distinctive ‘books’ that have in-built headphone ports. Plugging the headphones in, one can listen to a portion of a story regarding a woman, a library and ghosts… As well as the audio files, each ‘book’ has pop-up elements that illustrate a part of the story that’s been listened to and a clue as to where to go next.
At first I was concerned I wasn’t ‘quick enough’, as I wasn’t sure of the library’s layout and ‘visitors’ on the same trail are admitted at 10 minute intervals. However, once I got into the swing of it, I really started to enjoy this immersive experience – especially as the people who man the info desks on each floor interact with you in a capacity related to the show.
The sound design for The Paper Traveller is spot on and from a storytelling perspective, one could blissfully sit for an hour or so, listening the narrative unfold uninterrupted.
© Michael Davis 2018
The Paper Traveller runs at Westminster Reference Library (35 St Martin’s St, London WC2H 7HP) until 24th November (2-5pm)
Tickets: £3 / £5, book online on https://the-paper-traveller.designmynight.com