Teddy Bears’ Picnic, 3 Stars

Teddy Bears’ Picnic, 3 Stars
Natural Food Kafe (Venue 415)
Suitability 18+

“Gav is a bear, not the grizzly type or the type you’d buy in a toyshop. But the overweight
hairy gay type, and he’s had it with love, gay men and life in general. Join Gav as he meets
others from the homosexual menagerie and goes to the Teddy Bears’ Picnic.
New writing from Stories Alive that will make you laugh, groan and tug at your heart strings.
Eden Ballantyne is a storyteller and theatre performer. After years as an actor, street
performer, drag queen and children’s party entertainer, he is molding all his skills into one
to create a show about gay bears. When it comes to Bears, Otters, Cubs, Wolves and the
like, Eden was certainly no expert, but it’s been one hell of a year finding out about all the
animals in the gay jungle.”.

It’s tea time at the Natural Food Kafe and in front of you is literally picnic hampers, a car chequer blanket, and teddy bears. Although this is about an all-together different type of bear! The gay male bear!

Eden’s storytelling flows light and easy on a sunny afternoon in a balmy cafe basement. His biography is hilariously enacted as a puppet show using teddy bears to portray the many character bears we encounter. As he explains, one day he stopped waxing, watched his tummy protrude over his waist belt, and realised he’d become a bear.

Throughout his life, bears have come and bears have gone, all leaving their paw prints on his heart and emotions. A little nostalgia, a lot of laughs, and a few absurd situations. Without knowing for sure you’re left with a certainty that at least some of the stories must have an origin of truth. And you hope the “how I met the policeman bear” pig bear story is absolutely true!

We hear how opportunities have changed from meeting in a gay bar to profiling on an app. There are many apps out there now and we’re guided through a few do’s and dont’s, successes, pitfalls and cautionary tales of using modern technology to hook up.

Using stuffed bears as visual props allows the subject matter to go a little more adult than you could with a cast of actors. Eden can indulge deeper depths in his subject matter than would otherwise be possible. With unabashed honesty and giggles from the audience, this show is great fun and very entertaining! Definitely for the Over 18s!!!!

Where and when: Natural Food Kafe (venue 415)
16:55 4th-13th, 15th-20th, 22nd-26th of August.

Review by Richard Lambert