Definitely one of the must-sees of this year’s Fringe, Bears in Space is a puppet show with the surreal sensibilities of Paul Foot or the Mighty Boosh, featuring two bears searching space for a cure for the third. The story combines true love, cyborg bears, conquistador space pirates, heroic ghosts and creepy forest monsters, all cooked up in a hot wok of exuberant talent.
The packed crowd has no doubt been drawn in part by the knowledge that Jack Gleeson, Game of Thrones’ Joffrey, is a member of the company. Even the most starry-eyed, however, will forget that and be immersed in the illusions created by the entire, ridiculously excellent, group of young performers. Gleeson takes a back seat to the others on stage, as a matter of fact, often lending his voice to the ship’s over-emotional computer. Rising star Aaron Heffernan, who may be recognizable to some from Irish crime drama series Love/Hate, is often front and centre and carries several different roles comfortably.
Part of Dublin theatre company Collapsing Horse, who also have another show, Human Child, running at the Fringe, great things are no doubt on the cards for this troupe. Just don’t carp on about Game of Thrones.
Words: Caroline Whitham
Bears in Space, Underbelly Cowgate, Jul 31 – Aug 24 (not 11), 19:40