Northern Exposure meets The Singing Ringing Tree.
Conceived in a dream, Bear North is a utopian vision about bears and beavers, buffalos and wolves. An other-worldly show that is whimsical, comic and at times very moving. It emerged from a song, the simplest song about fish, jumping, flying and dancing. This was followed by another – this time, about being trapped in a cave with a bear, ‘What are you gonna do about the bear in the cave?’ Like all of Brainfruit’s previous shows (winners of the Best Ensemble at the Wellington Fringe 2017), the result is unclassifiable – crossing genres… and is great fun.
At the heart of the piece there is singing and dancing. A Singing Bear is magnificently realised by prop maker Jackie Edgar, along with Bear’s playmates, the Dancing Wolf and Buffalo. The creation of the show was gradual, responding to more dreams, thoughts and feelings. Soon, a fictitious town emerged, Deep Water Point, population 794, and here, in the heart of Canada’s Northwest Territories, we meet all of the wonderful characters that inhabit this very special place.
A run at the Brighton Fringe confirmed that this show had legs, or rather paws, and then the research and development (festival- field work) established that there was another home for this piece – on the street, playing to everyone – and this is where the show gained traction, confirming the show resonates for all.
The dancers bring their skills to the floor, dancing to the infectious music and giving their interpretation of the kinetic world of Bear, Wolf and Buffalo. Sue Bradley on violin, creates infectious riffs that gives breath to the landscape. Guitar and bass and vocal harmonies fill out the terrain as we journey through a world filled with log cabins, forests, mountains & magical waterfalls.
‘To enjoy Bear North to the full, it’s best not to think too hard about any of this. The bear likes to dance; it just does. Let’s just embrace the surrealism and get on with the show… Over time I found my mind was gently carried to a place of freshness and tranquillity. When the singers asked me to breathe the forest air, I really did take lungful’s in. By the time the hour was up, I’d accepted the bear as a fully-fledged character – a character, in fact, that I was rather fond of. In the end then, the tables were turned: it was me who danced to Bear North’s tune.’ **** Fringeguru
‘This has been created by multi-award winning comedian and director Roy Hutchins – recent winner of the ‘Best Ensemble Production’ at the Wellington Fringe for ‘Fiery Tongues’ The show deepens, it creates its momentum. It has a very improvisational feel – meaning each show is different. Hutchins asks for suggestions from the audience – they’re a game crowd and supply them unstintingly… genuinely interactive….’ Highly Recommended Fringereview.com
Where can Bear North perform?
Bear North Show has limitless possibilities of where it can be performed, we have developed our show to be suitable for festivals, theatre venues, pubs and outdoors! Each show is catered to its venue and audience so that the experience is …. for everyone who sees it.
I have seen you performing on the streets, is this the same as the performances you do elsewhere?
Our street performances are primarily used to fundraise for our supporting charity, Brainfruit, to promote the show and bring the show to as many people as possible! We usually have a snippet of the show in our street performances but you can expect more dancing, more music and more story’s in our shows elsewhere!
I’d like to be involved, can I be?
We are always looking for new people to be involved in our Bear North journey, whether you are sketcher, dancer, musician, non-artist or otherwise please do contact us with how you’d like to be involved and we will get back to you!
I want to book you to perform, can I?
Yes! Bear North is looking for upcoming performances, message us with your venue and possible dates and we can discuss more to cater the show for you.
When are you next performing?
You can check out our calendar for dates of performances. We often do show outdoors, in a pub corner or by a market – keep up to date with these on our social media!