Edinburgh Fringe: Bruce

Reviewed on August 8th, 2015
Underbelly, Cowgate

by Michael Drew

Two men. One sponge. It doesn’t sound like the most promising start to an adventure through time and space, but with a skilful blend of mime, acting and puppetry, Tim Watts and Wyatt Nixon-Lloyd somehow pull it off.

Over the next hour, the tale of our hapless but charming hero Bruce unfolds in flashback as he hurtles through space. The plot takes in the best bits of a Hollywood blockbuster with a nudge and a wink: car chases, buddy movie tropes, a weirdly touching love story, some kind of time vortex…

Watts and Nixon-Lloyd manage to imbue the sponge with humanity and humour, giving life to an impressive cast of characters with distinct personas and accents including my favourite: the evil one-eyed Joe. They rely a lot on the audience’s imagination aided by some nifty lighting effects and excellent use of Annie Lennox. The overall result is both funny and gripping, giving the audience what they want with a suitably schmaltzy ending. My only criticism is that the plot gets a bit too convoluted at times (that’s time travel for you!) but for sheer fun this has to be one of my favourite shows of the Fringe.


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