Bruce (3 stars)

This article is from 2017


A flurry of characters and scenarios reap cinematic rewards in this puppet show

Bruce the puppet pops into the Fringe with an adventure that has our spongy hero becoming a police officer, a novelist and an astronaut. As the audience enter, the two puppeteers are warming up on stage in yellow boxing gowns to pumping music, allowing us a peak behind the curtain. With the addition of black fencing masks and clever lighting, the pair morph into the background and give Bruce (and his many, similar-looking characters) centre stage.

The puppetry is flawless as the duo rattle through locations and characters in a complex plot with the precision of dancers. Comedy is found from so many elements: love-interest Debbie's pitch of voice, the sound effect of a bartender squeakily cleaning glasses, and the physical comedy of an old man amazed at an automatic soap dispenser.

While the story spoofs many elements of popular cinema, the script does sometimes err on the side of cheesy and certain plot-lines seem a bit wedged in. In true cinematic style, a number of the seemingly throwaway incidents make sense after the big reveal, and a series of flashbacks neatly rounds up the story and tugs at the heartstrings. With the audience captivated throughout, Bruce looks set for a sequel.

Underbelly Cowgate, until 27 Aug, 6.40pm, £12–£14 (£11–£13).


  • 3 stars

Underbelly and The Last Great Hunt The yellow block of foam with a heart of pure gold returns to the Fringe! Following 2015’s sell-out run, this low-fi puppetry spectacular, from the creators of award-winning international smash hits The Adventures of Alvin Sputnik: Deep Sea Explorer and It’s Dark Outside, is back with a…