Scoop reviews Polar Bears Go Up and Swamp Juice – both at this year’s AWESOME Festival 2017
Polar Bears Go Up
Following on from the previously polar-tastic Polar Bears Go Wild, performers Eilidh MacAskill and Fiona Manson are back with their latest show, Polar Bears Go Up, as part of the AWESOME Festival 2017.
If you think getting a balloon in the post is exciting, imagine receiving it in the Arctic! The excitable Polar Bears do everything they can to tame the wild balloon and keep it in their paws – but when one of them bears accidentally lets it go while getting a quick cuddle from the other, it disappears into the sky and is nowhere to be seen! The only thing for it is for the two bears to start searching the sky by jumping above the trees and all the way up to the clouds.
Despite being a show for children aged 2–5, adults will find themselves laughing along too! It’s non-verbal and deaf friendly, so visuals are key here, but it was an extremely engaging show, with plenty of visual prompts to make sure it kept the attention of those watching and gave them a few laughs too.
Polar Bears Go Up is ideal for keeping big and little kids entertained during the holidays. Its bright production and fun approach will have everyone feeling joyful.
It was hard not to feel a mixture of excitement and nervous anticipation ahead of Bunk Puppets’ production of Swamp Juice; as the lights flooded the stage, boxes were revealed, along with bits and pieces of junk and other random objects. It all seemed a little quirky, until Jeff Achtem, the multi-talented single performer of Swamp Juice bumbled onto the stage, mumbling random inaudible words, and getting lots of laughter from both the adults and children in the audience.
As far as theatre goes, this is one of my favourite shows to date. Achtem’s puppetry skills rely on using these random objects to create puppet creatures and characters, and it’s an amazing talent to have.
The story is simple – the characters keep moving through a swamp and trying to get away from other creatures along the way – but Achtem keeps the audience engaged by making sure they’re always involved in the action. If you’re looking for a fun, interactive, stunningly clever show, this is for you. Whether it’s holding up a prop or calling out a prompt for the characters, kids and grown-ups alike will find themselves laughing along as they get involved.
Jeff Achtem’s creativity and mastery is something that audience members of all ages will appreciate, and his wacky humour will definitely leave you laughing even after the show.
Image credit: Richard Davenport.