Mochinosha Puppet Company
Assembly George Square
It’s a surprising but brave opener to have a pair of hippo-faced aliens arrive from the future to thank the human race for our great sacrifice. But it’s little more than a quirky prologue before the real magic begins. A grand story of Space Hippo!
The last resort of failing human governments to distract their voters from climate change is to launch the titular mammal into space, as the stratospheric, amphibious ungulate undergoes a series of misadventures, travels the galaxy getting embroiled in an alien war and meeting strange new friends.
This show could rightly be classified as family entertainment, if not a kids' show, as would befit the relatively early morning start time. But it’s a sweet and harmlessly fun story that swings from the cutesy fun of a Pixar movie into the astral bizarreness of a '60s Moebius comic. The shadow puppetry which makes up the vast majority of the runtime is beautiful in its simplicity, while still pulling laughs and gasps from the crowd.
The climate change message is also undeniably heavy, although not distractingly so. While the ultimate story is an occasionally sad and often sweet one, that will still have you chuckling at the inventive silliness throughout.
Reviewer: Graeme Strachan