The story of a bear adopted by the Polish army, marched across the battlefields of wartime Europe, and finally homed in Edinburgh Zoo may sound unbelievable, but Theatre Objectiv transform this true tale into a parable of innocence and cruelty. A sophisticated performance unafraid to grapple with complex themes, it’s buoyed by live music which skillfully evokes the journey from Siberian tundra to Scottish drizzle, and by the touching, often comic interplay between the two leads. James Sutherland is remarkable as the titular animal, shifting between playful and petulant like an overactive three year old. A hulking physical presence, he anchors the play through its fragmented narrative and hairpin emotional shifts. Ambitious and uncomfortable, Wojtek grips like a bear hug.
Hill Street Theatre, 2-26 Aug (not 14), 4.30pm.
tw rating 4/5 | [Dave Fargnoli]