FRINGE REVIEW – The Adventures of Alvin Sputnik


The ice caps have melted, flooding most of the planet. Only one chance remains: a hero must travel to the ocean floor to locate the one thing left which can save the world.

That hero is Alvin Sputnik. As interested in following the shining soul of his recently-departed wife as he is in ushering in a new utopia, he rises to the challenge and braves the ocean depths, discovering the answer to many mysteries along the way.

The Adventures of Alvin Sputnik is captivating. Tim Watts combines live animation, song and puppetry as we follow Alvin on his journey beneath the surface. The enchanting story has many charming and poignant moments — as well as some light relief courtesy of some soundtrack choices which could potentially have detracted, but manage to enhance the tale.

The most inspired segments are where the animated action leaves the confines of the circular screen on which it is projected and the puppet Alvin takes up the story in a completely seamless fashion — not only is this technically impressive, it also adds some real dimension and depth to the already delightful piece.

By the time Alvin’s bittersweet adventures are at an end, Watts has woven magic which lasts long after the tale is done — and reminds us that even in the darkest depths, hope & compassion always remain.

The Adventures of Alvin Sputnik: Deep Sea Explorer is at Underbelly Topside at 14:00 until 11 August

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