Throughout the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the Pleasance has been running an eco-friendly pop-up theatre at Dynamic Earth, near Holyrood. Inside the science centre itself, Pigfoot Theatre is presenting How to Save a Rock, its family-friendly, carbon-neutral comedy about tackling climate change.
A hit at the National Student Drama Festival earlier this year, the devised show is a mash-up of story and science. The set is made of cardboard, the score is played live on an unamplified piano, and the lights are powered – with the help of obliging audience members – by a bicycle at the back of the stage.
Performers Lee Simmonds, Bea Udale-Smith and Alex Rugman sketch out two separate storylines. In the near future, three friends journey north on a fool’s errand to save the last remaining polar bear. Back in 2009, climatologists at the University of East Anglia discuss what to do to tackle global warming. The two narratives slowly converge.
It’s a patchy performance, but there’s real promise here. Udale-Smith, who also directs, manages to marry the likeable lo-fi, environmentally friendly aesthetic with a cheeky theatricality that gently incorporates some easy audience interaction. It’s a light show with a heavy heart.