REVIEW: FOSSILS (New Diorama Theatre) ★★★

Fossils from award winning company Bucket Club gets its third outing at New Diorama Theatre following successful runs at Edinburgh Fringe and Brits on Broadway in New York. The show is inspired by British myths, a collection of toy dinosaurs and a man called Steve who has been watching for the Loch Ness Monster from a converted mobile library since 1991.

Vanessa is a talented young scientist working in evolutionary biology. Her PhD students Dom and Myles know that her work is her life. What they don’t know is that her father went missing when she was sixteen after going to the Scottish Highlands to prove the existence of the Loch Ness Monster. When a new photograph is published from the Loch and Nature magazine get in touch with an interest in her father’s research, Vanessa embarks on a very personal research project where science meets myth in a hunt for the truth.

The tale is told by three performers, toy dinosaurs, fish tanks and multiple musical instruments. The storytelling is supported by sound and music created on stage by the actors. Helen Vinten plays Vanessa, supported by Luke Murphy as Myles and Adam Farrell as Dom. The dynamic between the three performers is strong; Vinten’s serious scientist is contrasted with the more light-hearted attitude of her colleagues.

Fossils is a quirky show with an inventive use of props and sound. It ends, appropriately, without resolving the issues it raises.

Reviewed by Rhiannon Evans