The Polar Bears are beautifully realistic, fully animated pod puppets.
A highly skilled (and often very hot!) performer is inside operating all the movements including the facial animations – blinking eyes, sniffing nose and opening mouth.
The keeper characters are dressed in an Inuit style outfit to compliment the arctic theme, and act as an intermediary between the audience and the Polar Bear, distributing interesting facts and related chat.
To help set the scene this act has a specially built inflatable ice environment in which they perform.
The show actually involves REAL science & has been performed at events such as BT Young Scientist of the Year, Cambridge Science Week, W5 Science Centre & World Oceans Day at Galway Aquarium.
Please note, tech requirements can vary greatly from one to another so this can only be a general assessment of our needs. If in doubt call us and talk it over - we will be happy to help.
The Polar Bear normally performs 3 x 20mins or 2 x 30mins per day with a minimum of 40mins between shows.
The Polar Bear performs in an oval area approx. 5m in diameter , defined at the back by our semi-circular inflatable iceberg and on the ground by a large round white tarpaulin. The size can be reduced if necessary by folding tarpaulin or removing sections of inflatable.
The fan that inflates our iceberg requires a 13 amp, 240v power supply; we can use either a domestic 3 pin source or a c-form.
We need a firm, level, and clear area for the performance. The Iceberg and tarpaulin will either be taped down (on hard surfaces), or pegged (on dry, firm grass – see Cleaning, below.) to keep them in place.
We will require a steward to look after the inflatable and performance area in between performances in case children mistake it for a bouncy castle
The inflatable and tarpaulin can be rigged or de-rigged within 15 minutes. This does not include the time it takes for the performers to get in and out of costume, so if you need to remove the ice environment especially quickly, please provide a steward or two. It is preferable to leave the set in place throughout the booking.
Once in costume, the Polar Bear performer is very limited in the distances they are able to travel. For this reason we require a changing area within a maximum of 20m of the performance area.
Changing into the Bear requires an area 3m square, (10ft square) we have changed in a wide range of places from empty shops to fire escapes, marquees and loading bays, but toilets are never appropriate!
If we are changing inside, please keep in mind the size of the Bear (it’s big!) and ensure that there are no stairs, or doors with less than 80cm width clearance between the changing and performance areas. An ideal changing room will be secure and private, have chairs to sit on, a clean floor or floor covering so we can keep our Polar Bear whiter than white!
If we are changing and performing outside we have found provision of a 10ft square Easy Up type tent with opaque sides immediately next to or behind our performance area is best. If the ground is likely to be damp, provision of some kind of ground covering is appreciated such as carpet or tarpaulins over the area we have to walk across to get to our performance site as we need to keep the bear & our props white. Please make sure the tent is weatherproof, not showerproof.
Performing in a Polar Bear is a very hot occupation; we have never yet had to miss or delay a performance due to excessive heat but we reserve the right to halt or alter a performance in this case.
We don’t perform in the rain or snow or on ice, so it is advisable to have a wet weather or heat contingency plan in place for outdoor events. Please note that some fake snow is made up of foam which is very damaging to the Polar Bear’s fur; please ensure we are sited clear of snow machines if you have them.
If you anticipate large crowds or a very noisy event it may be worth considering the provision of a PA & radio microphone as our 300w system may not cut the mustard.
Please understand that all our props are lovely and clean, white and dry, and that we’d like them to stay that way. In situations where undue wear and tear is put on our equipment we reserve the right to charge for cleaning/repair expenses.
Refreshments at the event:
Working in a Polar Bear is extremely hot, so a supply of drinking water for our performers is much appreciated (2 litres of still mineral water) & food or snacks never go amiss.