Using live animation, puppetry and
song, The Adventures of Alvin Sputnik tells a
fantastical tale of heartbreak and heroism in a world beset by
climate catastrophe. Humanity's mistreatment of the planet has taken
its toll: sea levels have risen with devastating effects and only a
few souls remain, their ramshackle houses teetering precariously on
the tops of the tallest skyscrapers. Something must be done if the
human race is to survive. Alvin Sputnik steps up.
Performed with considerable skill and
charm by Tim Watts, this one-person show takes a sweet and
imaginative approach to some dark subjects. Alongside Alvin's mission
to save the earth – a mission that involves searching the bottom of
the ocean for the volcano that leads to world at the centre of the
earth, no less – runs a personal journey, that of reconciling himself
to the recent death of his beloved wife.
The show is a touch languorous in its
pacing: the live songs Watts performs on the ukulele in particular do
not take the story anywhere, even if they are sweetly melancholic.
It's also overly sentimental at times, relying too heavily on the
audience being charmed by Watts's admittedly adorable creations. But
despite these faults, The Adventures of Alvin Sputnik
has real heart and is likely to bring as much delight to Edinburgh
audiences as it has done elsewhere on the international festival circuit.