The Last Hive
- Gareth K Vile
- 22 August 2018
Big ideas that wander as they wonder
The Last Hive has the same twee charm as many performances by younger theatre makers: with Lecoq training, and a theme that has exercised environmentalists (the disappearance of bees), it promises to be a humorous study of an important issue. Beginning with an exhibition of tentative learning, in which the structure of the hive is anthropomorphised through the anxieties of a male drone, it transforms into a classic hero's journey with comic interludes.
Conceptually, the production is solid: the drone meets a congress of insects, an AI, a flirty bumble bee who reveals the secret to the hive's survival. But it is played out too lightly, the dialogues feeling under-developed and still in an early, improvisational and uncertain mode. The final scene of self-sacrifice and desire is played for easy laughs, and the machinations of hive politics seems an irrelevant interlude to add a little dramatic tension.
While both performers have a ready wit and charm – the drone is especially adept even addressing technical problems with aplomb – the mix of environmental concern and humour is poorly juxtaposed. DIY attitude slips into a lack of tightness, and the early promise of an intimate and playful hour is undermined by the rambling adventure episodes.
Zoo Southside, until 27 Aug, 4.10pm, £10 (£9).