He’s a bear with a very special connection to Berwickshire and now a stage show on the life of Wojtek is heading to the region.
Theatre Objektiv’s award-winning production of ‘Wojtek the Bear’ has proved not only to have legs, but also wings.
Having seen Wojtek the Bear at the Edinburgh Fringe, Edward Dargiewicz, artistic director of the English Theatre Company (ETC) in Warsaw, invited the bear to play their theatre in November to great acclaim.
Wojtek of course had strong links to Poland, becoming an honorary member of the army after playing a crucial role in the Battle of Monte Cassino but he also made a big impression on the people of Berwickshire and Berwick having arrived in this part of the world with the troops in 1945.
Stationed at Winfield, Wojtek proved to be a real character and also drew his fair share of visitors when he was moved to Edinburgh Zoo.
He died in 1963 but his legacy still lives on with a number of documentaries being made, films in the pipeline, a tartan designed in his honour and books written, including one by Berwickshire’s Aileen Orr who saw ‘Wojtek The Bear’ in Edinburgh last year.
On its return to Scotland, the show will once again make a home for itself in the Scottish capital, where it received numerous standing ovations first time round, starting a three night run on April 25 before a performance at West Linton Community Centre on April 29.
It will arrive in Coldingham on Thursday, May 1.
The show concerns itself with the relationship between the soldier bear and Piotr, about their life in war and peace, about loneliness and betrayal, and about love and forgiveness
And chair of Coldingham Hall committee, Dave Jones is thrilled to have it in the lineup for 2014.
“I’m absolutely over the moon that the show is coming here,” he told ‘WOW’.
“The story is an amazing one and has such a strong connection to this area.
“It was a no brainer when I was asked if we’d have it; I grabbed it with both hands!”
“I think it’s a real coup for us to get it particularly given the great response performances have had so far.”