City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

Fossils, Pleasance Dome, Review

By Kenneth Scott - Posted on 22 August 2016

Fossils - Bucket Club
Show details
Pleasance Dome
Bucket Club
Running time: 
Nel Crouch (writer / director), Rebecca Jane Wood (designer), Joe Price (lighting designer), David Ridley (composer / sound designer), Marietta Kirkbride (dramaturg), Matt Lister (producer).
Helen Vinten (Vanessa), Adam Farrell (Dom), David Ridley (Myles).

Faced with pseudoscience and myths, aspiring scientist Vanessa will need to search out hard facts to discover some monsters from her past.

As she stands in her research laboratory she reviews some figures. They catalogue her age and that of her often absent scientist father. She is 14 and he is 45 as he is leaving again. Aged 16 and he 47, he hasn’t been heard from in a month.

Now at 28, she has been in constant education for most of her life. Institutions are safe and respectable places to be and she lives, sleeps and breathes the rarefied air of academia. With her PhD science-boys Dom and Myles she is working on the coelacanth, a “living fossil” once thought to have become extinct over 60 million years ago. She just needs to publish papers to push for a professorship.

While cryptozoology might be an anathema, the made-up stuff makes the headlines and who knows whether there are any facts behind the Loch Ness Monster. Her father’s research papers could shed light, but she will need to go back to her childhood and face the monsters under her bed.

With the ruse of a conference, she heads north with Dom to the shores if that dark, deep body of water. It’s an easy place to get lost. When she meets her missing father’s old monster hunting buddy she finds a bit of the past waiting for her. It seems that her very DNA is pulling her to make one final discovery.

It’s a good looking production with fittingly scientific overtones – all Perspex boxes and flashing lights, and the layered soundtrack of voices, Theremin-like and looped noises is a triumph. The use of lame humour and toy dinosaurs, whilst injecting somewhat nerdy charm, falls a little flat and some of the plot lines are insufficiently chased down.

A well-crafted and enjoyable scientific jaunt, but not quite engaging enough to be found a pleasure-isuarus.

Show Times: 3 – 29 (not 17) August 2016 at 2.40pm.

Tickets: £6 to £11.

Suitability: PG