Occasionally a Fringe show comes along which is so fresh, so inventive, so utterly magical, that it’s simply impossible to capture the experience with words alone. Alvin Sputnik is that sort of show.
From the moment the audience is asked to switch off their mobiles, it is obvious that this is going to be something special. With projected drawings created in real time, charming animation, winsome puppets, live original music and a bittersweet love story, Alvin Sputnik has a little something up its sleeve for everyone.
The show begins with the death of Alvin’s wife. Our distraught hero follows her soul into the sea, attempting to save the planet in the process. From this point on the audience embark with Alvin on his aquatic journey, during which he meets some of the denizens of the deep and, frankly, not much happens but the audience are so enthralled they don’t care.
The action takes place in projected animations which regularly meander off the screen and into real life in the form of puppets and props. Creator and performer Tim Watts steps in to act a few roles himself, as well as performing original songs which help to develop the story. Watts is also a virtuoso puppeteer, with Alvin’s puppet forms instilled with a warmth and pathos which is absolutely believable.
One small quibble which is nothing to do with the production. The large venue is a poor match for such an intimate show, and the sight-lines are often not clear when the action moves off-screen. Queue up early if you want the best seats.
Alvin Sputnik is the Fringe at its best: original, creative, emotional, uplifting. But no review can truly do it justice, you will just have to experience it for yourself.
4-28 Aug (not 16) 1800 (1900) @ Underbelly