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Buzzing pair provide food for thought


The Bee Project, Belgrade Theatre, Coventry, to June 16.

Environmental activism hasn't looked like this before. At least not as far as I know.

On the stage of the Belgrade's B2 we meet Laura Ryder and Freya Sharp, part actors-part dancers, but wholly committed to getting their message across about our diminishing bee population.

The pair don't shout, or even buzz, in our faces. But they have developed some remarkably realistic choreography that lets us see them as bees one minute, and two school friends the next.

Has Freya had her drink spiked at a party? And how does this equate to the paucity of flowers and weeds in our gardens where paving slabs and pesticides reduce the nectar available?

And does China really have so few bees left that it pollinates plants by robot?

This is an interesting three-quarters of an hour performance involving pots of compost and bio-degradable glitter, and is followed by a chance to chat to the young company about their inspiration.

One member of the audience asked whether they had considered an open-air performance in a park? It's something they might think about, although the sound, designed by Luke Galloway, might not work so well.

It's the company's first production although not, I suspect, their last.

They have Arts Council funding and have already been short-listed for an award in Manchester. It's an interesting project for the Belgrade to bring to Coventry, and at the end everyone takes home a packet of seeds to plant in their gardens.

For tickets go to: www.belgrade.co.uk

Winner!