Review: Green Dreams at Suffolk New College

Jimmy’s Farm recently hit the headlines when they welcomed a new polar bear to their wildlife park earlier this year. But they aren’t the only place in the county where you can find polar bears roaming around freely.

I got to confront four in a theatre-based event at Suffolk New College this week.

One was even trying to order a pizza on a mobile phone.

Of course they weren’t real polar bears.

Ipswich Star: The Suffolk New College polar bearsThe Suffolk New College polar bears (Image: John Nice)

They were four actors dressed up as bears performing in a new play called The Polar Bears by Nicolas Billon as part of Green Dreams a project about Climate Change.

The show is a grandiose collaboration between the college and a company called Climate Change Theatre Action who commission playwrights to create short plays relating to an aspect of the climate crisis.

As a result of the partnership, an immersive and interactive production has been created.

In the first half, the audience physically walks to different locations where they get to see three stories that incorporate flooding and fires, a magical New York City overrun by nature and a story based on a plane where how we look after our planet is questioned – less Snakes on a Plane – more mistakes on a plane.

Ipswich Star: Green Dreams at Suffolk New CollegeGreen Dreams at Suffolk New College (Image: John Nice)

Then after a short interval, I got threatened by a polar bear, saw two music videos (created with the support of media students and staff), witnessed a sustainable fashion show (using outfits made by textile students) and saw a couple of powerful dance numbers that wouldn’t have looked out of place on Strictly.

There is so much to take in and as an audience member the third wall between actor and audience is constantly challenged.

It was a real bombardment of the senses and having previously been along to successful productions here, it’s fair to say that Suffolk New College has done it again.

Ipswich Star: Performers in Green Dreams a new production put on by Suffolk New CollegePerformers in Green Dreams a new production put on by Suffolk New College (Image: John Nice)

You also had some great music with numbers from Gloria Gaynor, Michael Jackson and Pink Floyd popping up - and the college is clearly committed to climate change - so hats off to them.

Overall it was a complex production that brought a fresh take on a serious subject that challenged you from start to finish.  

By John Nice