A PLAY exploring loss and survival in our current precarious landscape is coming to Basingstoke next month.

The Polar Bear (is Dead) will be at Proteus Creation Space on Thursday, May 4, described as a play full of hope it includes a plant, a polar bear, the Spice Girls and a conversation about the end of the world.

The play was created by artistic collaborators Natalie Bellingham and Daniele Pennati, who met by chance in 2016 and went on to establish an international creative collective, jointly developing work despite living more than 900 miles apart – one in Yorkshire and the other in Milan, Italy.

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The show’s urgent ecological message is at the forefront of the public consciousness, with Covid-19 highlighting the fragility of our lives compared to unstoppable nature forces.

The often daunting theme of the climate crisis is addressed using comedy and physical theatre to create an accessible and compelling show, during which Natalie and Daniele skilfully create a non-judgemental space for people to rediscover enthusiasm for the natural world and to think about their own relationship to the climate crisis, nature and loss.

Natalie performs on stage in the theatre space, sharing an onstage Zoom conversation with the audience as Daniele performs digitally on screen from Italy – illustrated by photos, videos and memories from over the years.

Originally conceived as a compromise to enable them to make the show during Covid travel restrictions, they decided to keep the format even when restrictions were lifted to underline their ecological message.

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Face-to-face preparation for the show has all been achieved using surface transport – no flights – and, if the show is taken to Italy as planned, the roles will be reversed, with Dani live on stage and Natalie Zooming in from Yorkshire.

Natalie said: “In many ways the show is about change, another thing the pandemic presented us all with that we didn't ask for. The show looks at the changes we face as humans globally and, closer to home, as individuals.

“We want our work to have a life after the show ends, in the bar later, in front of the TV the next night, wherever, through conversations. We'd love people to chat about what we have and how we can enjoy it whilst it's here – and how we might hold onto it for as long as possible before things change.”

The Polar Bear (is Dead) is on Thursday, May 4 at 7.30pm at Proteus Creation Space, in Council Road, Basingstoke.

Tickets for the 60-minute show suitable for those aged 12+ cost £11, or £9 for concessions, and can be booked at proteustheatre.com.