The Last Hive (2 stars)

This article is from 2018

The Last Hive

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).

Last Hive

  • 2 stars

Undercover Theatre Company The Matrix, but with bees. Award-winning Gaulier duo David Tann and Karen Houge take you on an epic, comic journey where David the Drone is trying to save the hive. Will he save the hive and get the girl, or get radicalised along the way? Undercover Theatre Company's previous show was nominated…