Theatre review: Ingo’s War

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Edinburgh Festival Fringe: Whimpering his way through World War II, a cute little puppet dog finally learns to be brave in the face of adversity.

Pleasance Dome (Venue 23)

***

Whimpering his way through World War II, a cute little puppet dog finally learns to be brave in the face of adversity. This imaginative new show from East 15 Physical Theatre graduates, Ditto Theatre Company, might not delve too deeply into the horrors of war, but it’s warm- hearted in a way that will appeal to a family audience and anyone who likes unchallenging drama where charming pets are the stars.

With the big movements, clear delivery and the kind of accentuated voices that are designed to ensure any younger members of the audience know what’s going on, the ensemble part-narrate and part-perform the story, using wooden boxes and their ever-moving bodies to capture the chaos of war and hint at the carnage that lies beneath the images of patriotic young men and women committed to serving their country.

It’s good to be brave, the play concludes, as Ingo travels across the frontline in France befriending and losing a chain of compassionate dog- lover owners. It’s a message that glosses over the fact that the world is full of injustice and, in such situations, being brave often means you get shot – but its unabashed idealism is nevertheless appealing.

Until 20 August. Today 10:40am.