Theatre review: Me and My Bee

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Edinburgh Festival Fringe: They’re starting a party: a political party disguised as a ‘party’ party, disguised as a show – and it’s about saving bees.

Pleasance Courtyard (Venue 33)

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Dressed in day-glo trousers and paper party hats, Josie (Dale-Jones) and Greta (Mitchell) are “super thankful to be here”, along with a “very small” bee, played by the not-so-small Joe (Boylan) who is dressed in an outfit that could have once been a swimsuit.

Based on the “real-life story” of a bee one of the performers saw fly into the side of a tower block, ThisEgg company’s defiantly un-po-faced political theatre pokes fun at verbatim drama one minute before breezily delivering facts about the decline of bees the next. Josie, Greta and Joe constantly remind the lively audience – who are all ages – that this is a show. And when they’re not ‘doing the show’, the likeable cast are bickering with one another in a mutually dependent and fun but somewhat self-destructive relationship, which turns into a love triangle, which turns into a dance routine. The power struggles between the three character-performers carry along a story that might otherwise feel like a string of loosely connected bee-related, musical set pieces.

There’s handholding, eye closing and trying to flap our hands (or ‘wings’) at 200 beats a second, but also pertinent facts hidden inside the affectionate parody of an ‘educational’ show: did we know that it takes 6000 bees to make one jar of honey? Or, that without bees there would be no clothes, fruit, vegetables or, indeed, life? There are moments of sadness at the heart of an otherwise exuberant play – ones that may not delve deeply into the hows and whys of the bee decline, but that will have adults, children and anyone who enjoys political comedy reaching for the packs of seeds handed out at the end.

Until 28 August. Today 11:45am.