Wojtek the soldier bear to star at Edinburgh Fringe

NOt content with already being the subject of a show that had a five night run in Scotland’s capital city earlier this summer, famous soldier bear Wojtek is now back for a second run and keen to make an impression on audiences at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

‘Wojtek the Bear’ written by Raymond Raszkowski Ross and directed by Caroline Harris, will set out its stall at the capital’s Hill Street Theatre from Thursday, August 2, to August 26 and is hoping to be a big hit.

Preparations for the show began with workshops which started last November and it was piloted, with support from Creative Scotland, at the Scottish Storytelling Centre (Netherbow Theatre) in Edinburgh ilast month.

The cast, including James Sutherland as Wojtek and John McColl as his closest friend, Polish soldier Piotr, had five performances which were completely sold out and got three curtain calls every show as well as two standing ovations.

‘Wojtek the Bear’ is about the relationship between the soldier bear and Piotr, about their life in war and peace, about loneliness and betrayal, and about love and forgiveness.

The talented ensemble tell the story of what happened to Poland in WWII and to the Free Polish Forces after it came to an end.

The show also features the musical talents of musician Sue Muir who will play both traditional Polish and Scottish music and the organisation who run the the venue hosting it - Universal Arts- is run by Tomek Borkowy, who is originally from Poland.

‘Wojtek The Bear’ is described as ‘an important journey, a part of hidden history. It is contemporary theatre and a celebration of the human spirit – and of the bear.’

The show, lasting 1 hour 15 minutes, will be performed at the Hill Street Theatre, 19 Hill Street, EH2 3JP, at 4.30pm daily from August 2-26, apart from August 14 when there will be no show.

Tickets are now available from the Fesatival box office on 0131 226 6522.