Theatre review: The Hero Who Overslept

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Edinburgh Festival Fringe: One’s an artist and one-time barrister; the other’s a senior lecturer at the Open University.

Gilded Balloon at Rose Theatre (Venue 76)

***

Despite their different but equally idiosyncratic backgrounds, Philip Woodford and Stephen Peake have the kind of warm chemistry that can fill a room, with their matching beards and a shared enthusiasm for saving the planet.

With one dressed in a waistcoat and the other a lab coat, they’re here to “put the drama into lecture theatre”. An initial scene in which they chat about the issues might have you wondering about this, but their on-stage bond, personable approach and planet earth-shaped balloons soon develop into a fun-filled family show.

All of us have good intentions to behave in an environmentally friendly way, but then fail to put this into practice, is the central idea – one that draws in weighty subjects such as the Paris agreement, but with a helium-injected lightness of touch.

Imaginative scenes build up to a musical conclusion which, thanks to the duo’s joyful energy, will have you singing Take That’s ‘Let’s go round the world’ as you skip down the stairs at the end, the words “stay optimistic; make a difference” encouraging you to do just that.

Until 28 August. Today 1:15pm.