TIM Watts has been performing Alvin Sputnik: Deep Sea Explorer off and on again since 2009.
A lot has changed since he first found the inspiration for the show, a trip to the Great Barrier Reef in 2007.
“I was worried it was going to die before I got the chance to see it,” he said.
“With all that has been happening in the last few years, I'm glad I did.”
The slow decay of the reef hasn't necessarily changed the content of Watts’ show, nor how he performs it.
Life is amazingly resilient and I was quite inspired by that as I was doing my research.Tim Watts
For him, it's all about context.
“It's got an extra layer of sadness I guess,” he said.
“One of the things that inspired the show was the beauty of the natural world, particularly the oceans.
“I wanted to make a show that was fun and funny, and also really attack those issues, not head-on, but in a way that was about hope, about how life will continue.
“Life is amazingly resilient and I was quite inspired by that as I was doing my research.
“Life finds a way, and I do believe that – tragedy doesn't necessarily inspire, but it does motivate.”
The show follows the titular Alvin Sputnik who, living in the not-too-distant future, has been tasked with plunging into the depths of the sea, which has risen and forced mankind to live on farms atop mountains and skyscrapers, to find a new home.
The show has been toured heavily since 2009, including in New York, Sydney, Melbourne, Edinburgh, Dublin, Seoul, Taipei and Auckland.
Watts’ work has been heavily awarded as well – he won best male performer at Dublin Fringe, best original show at Fil Festival Rio de Janeiro, best puppetry at Adelaide Fringe, outstanding solo show at the New York International Fringe Festival and best theatre production at Auckland Fringe.
While Alvin Sputnik is very much a show for children, Watts said its themes and subject matter were relevant for all ages.
“You can expect a fun show about some heavy-ish topics, but it’s done in a way’s that’s quite playful and also emotionally affecting,” he said.
“It’s pretty silly in parts, it’s a very visual show.
“From the outset it can look like it’s a show just for kids, but it’s really not.
“It’s a show that resonates with adults, sometimes more so, because there’s a lot of pathos and themes in there that I think, as you get older, hit a bit harder.”
Friday night’s show will also kick off with an Under the Sea themed disco beforehand.