New York | 1h 15m | Already closed

Bears in Space

From 27 critic and 77 member reviews
Members say: Funny, Clever, Quirky, Entertaining, Delightful

About the show

After playing to sold-out crowds in Dublin, Edinburgh, and London, the cult hit about a pair of cosmonaut bears lands at 59E59. Starring Jack Gleeson from 'Game of Thrones.' Part of Origin’s 1st Irish Festival. More…

Two bears on a spaceship hurtle toward the distant limits of the universe while chased by villainous beings. Through their renowned puppetry, comic skills, and offbeat music, one of Ireland’s most inventive theater companies, Collapsing Horse, consider the perils and wonders of a journey across space and time to nowhere.


"'Bears in Space' is fringe-zany puppetry at its most infectious — a comedy gone viral, captivating a cult audience who appreciates mad leaps in imagination. Darkly quirky -- 'bears' witness to a fun and delightful theater experience that is both fringe-zany and pun-wacky." Full Review

Talkin' Broadway

"It is strange, funny, charming, and wonderfully acted by a quartet of performers straight out of a universe inhabited by the likes of Monty Python...Despite the loopy silliness and deliberate low-end production values, you may find yourself growing rather fond of these oddball characters, brought gloriously to life by the cast and director Dan Colley. More than anything, the show is a tribute to the power of the imagination." Full Review


"Hilarity abounds at ‘Bears in Space,’ the zany, captivating show currently at 59E59 Theaters…This madcap theatrical event combines puppetry and storytelling techniques in perfect measure…The four storytellers employ simple, but creative techniques like shadow imaging, music and clever characterizations. Part of the fun of ‘Bears in Space’ is that you don't know what will happen next or how the absurdities will be portrayed…A distinctive and completely entertaining show." Full Review

Woman Around Town

"80 minutes of absurd (and absurdly creative) hilarity...Despite the abundant homage, there are so many creative and comedic touches to surprise and delight that the end product feels both fresh and timeless...Director Dan Colley has done wonderful things making the play interesting and accessible...The show never lags, never exhausts and delights without faltering in its tone or sacrificing character development for laughs...It has a big, silly heart and isn’t afraid to flaunt it." Full Review

Irish Central

"Quinn is clearly gifted, fashioning a hilarious and weirdly touching sci-fi drama out of found materials and puppetry. It helps that the show features gifted performers with terrific work from Gleeson and a star-making turn by 'Love/Hate' newcomer Aaron Heffernan. Reviews that have called 'Bears in Space' silly escapist fun seem to miss or overlook the whip-smart critiques of contemporary political and social mores, because Quinn manages to smuggle in quite a lot of subversion." Full Review

Plays to See

"75 minutes of glorious, galactic goofiness!...All is executed in masterful puppetry…The performers are quirky, hilarious and unpredictable. The audience is drawn into a world that is frenetic, ironic and utterly hilarious without being given a moment to breathe between plot changes…The cast so clearly have the time of their lives performing together that their energy and glee are infectious…Go see this play. It will make you happy!" Full Review

The New York Times

“After only a few minutes, you’ll find you’ve acquired the mind-set of a rowdy, sleep-deprived university student at 4 a.m., giddily sharing fantasies with fellow nerds for whom goofiness is next to godliness...'Bears in Space' allows plenty of room for deliberately uneasy improvisation, as if its narrators were always expecting to be caught with their trousers down...Considerations of things meta take a back seat to the straight-faced pursuit of silliness." Full Review

Time Out New York

"Quinn’s larkish comedy is basically down to earth; it wants only to amuse, and it does so very appealingly...This is not a one-star show; it’s a constellation where everyone gets a chance to shine...Amid the wacky side characters, dopey-clever jokes and sci-fi goofery, a few lessons are eventually learned about friendship and courage, but it’s all in silly, adorable fun. Bear it and grin." Full Review


"Completely insane—and insanely enjoyable...The laughs, which defy explanation, are plentiful...The chemistry of the four leading men also adds to the enjoyment...That their ensemble work is so exactingly perfect is a credit to Colley's direction, which takes the silly material very seriously...It's unusual, sure, but 'Bears in Space' is also surprisingly relatable. There's a great big heart beating at its center." Full Review

Front Row Center

"It’s a razor-sharp romp, a leave-your-grumpy-day-at-the-door good time, that doesn’t take itself too seriously but is excitingly professional, crisp and grown-up without being idiotic or slapstick...Don’t look for nuanced story craft from the Story Keeper. Enjoy the incredibly detailed and fine character work by the performers. Enjoy the sharp dialog by the writer Eoghan Quinn, who also captures your heart as Bhourgash, the would-be captain...And enjoy the wonderfully lo-fi production values." Full Review

Theater Pizzazz

"Picture four nutty, madcap and inventive performers who are darkly this frenetic implausible story of non-stop freaky, surreal theater...The ensemble of bedraggled looking actors exude a charm that fits in just perfectly. You’ll laugh out loud at some of the bits; especially clever are the homemade drawings and cutouts that serve as shadow puppets. It’s all very makeshift and very bizarre and very brave!" Full Review

The Washington Post

"An otherworldly hoot. Four actors from Ireland’s Collapsing Horse company manipulate charmingly ragtag animal puppets to tell a sci-fi story that’s equal parts 'Winnie the Pooh' and 'The Empire Strikes Back'...An hour with the fluffy little heroes—who all look as if they’ve rescued from a moldering toy chest—leaves you feeling the universe has been kept safe for funny business." Full Review

Stage Buddy

"The highest level of silliness that one can experience in the theater...The all-male cast of four take turns in puppetry and playing actual characters, each showing off their skills as great actors...The uncomplicated story serves the production well...These alternative Fab Four are clearly in confident control of the show, treating us to polished and thoughtful deliveries, all the while never taking themselves too seriously and allowing the story to flow in all its humorous glory." Full Review

Theatre is Easy

"There are a lot of laughs, courtesy of Quinn’s writing and performance...Colley runs a well-oiled production with abundant props and actors doing triple duty; he keeps the antics absurd without them becoming silly or slapsticky. Sure, 'Bears in Space' is not a very deep or meaningful show. But the four actors are clearly having a great deal of fun, and so will you." Full Review

Bob's Theater Blog

"The four actors are all appealing performers. The deliberately scruffy puppets and makeshift props are appropriate to the playful spirit...Struck me as less entertaining than it was meant to be. Douglas Adams did it better in his galactic 'Hitchhiker' series...I image it was much more effective in some tiny fringe venue. The audience was loving every minute of it, so I felt that I was the odd man out." Full Review

Theatre's Leiter Side

"It’s all well done, the actors are expert comedians and puppeteers, and there are effective shadow projections and McCauley’s amusing music, so, if you’re up for this kind of prankish theatre, ‘Bears in Space’ may prove a pleasant enough diversion. Moreover, surprisingly for this kind of show, it doesn’t depend on smut for its laughs. I generally love nutty stuff like this but ‘Bears in Space’ hit my funnybone so infrequently all I could do was grin and bear it." Full Review

Lighting & Sound America

"‘Bears in Space’ quickly reveals itself to be a nonstop parade of strenuously unfunny non-sequitur gags…What's lacking here is rigorous discipline and a strong point of view…Everything about ‘Bears in Space’ is slapdash, from the troupe's timing to the ratty bear puppets that look as if they have been through the rinse cycle one too many times, to the frankly bad lighting…It's rather like watching a quartet of collegians sitting in a dorm room, inventing comic bits to crack each other up." Full Review

The Irish Post

for a previous production "The idea sprang from a pilot for a kids’ show, which the actors enjoyed doing so much they extended it into a play for adults. You’ll enjoy it just as much as they do, unless you are frozen from the neck down...Friendships are tested, loyalties are examined and silly songs are sung...It’s 'The Muppet Show' meets 'Star Wars' with a dash of 'The Mighty Boosh,' all vaguely trippy and really, truly funny." Full Review

The Upcoming (UK)

for a previous production "A masterpiece that blends innovative storytelling, great performances, superb writing and talented puppetry…From the moment the theatre lights are dimmed, the hilarity begins, flowing incessantly through to the finale…The script is phenomenal, the story beautiful and complete…It is the perfect example of how sheer imagination and theatrical ingenuity can come together to tell a story which, though absolutely absurd, is consistently engaging, thought-provoking and, at times, moving." Full Review

Time Out London

for a previous production "The show isn’t weird for weird’s sake though, it comes with a genuinely funny script, and off-kilter, clowning humour that seems effortless. Eoghan Quinn’s multi-layered script is a thing of craft, silly, ridiculous, but with a strong plot arch...‘Bears In Space’ is like nothing else you’ll see in London at the moment. The cast gleefully embrace the makeshift madness and take us on a riotous, hilarious, trippy journey to infinity and beyond." Full Review

A Younger Theatre

for a previous production "Aaron Heffernan’s design is exquisite…Quinn’s fantastical plot is packaged up in a tight, well-rounded story, split into chapters and speckled with voguish 'incredible' jokes that keep the audience laughing throughout. Cameron McCauley is a fine storyteller and his musical interludes whisk us smoothly between scenes...'Bears in Space' looks like it was fun to create, and each member exudes energy and passion throughout the performance." Full Review

The Stage (UK)

for a previous production "Bonkers, but brilliant…Storytelling at its most imaginative. Wickedly funny, its silliness is infectious…The four-man cast master countless roles, and puppets, with skills so impressive it allows for the show’s unrelenting comedy to be both reactive and impulsive…The story itself is bizarre, but it is the telling that makes this production such a joy. You get the sense that this is something really special for Collapsing Horse, whose clear love for their craft is a thrill to watch." Full Review

Broadway Baby

for a previous production "A play that’s practically bursting with ideas; a honey pot of comedy, thick with wit and absurdity…This is a four-man cast, and each member shines…Indeed, the sheer glee of the whole thing knows no bounds...Much like the puppets themselves, Quinn’s play may be slightly rough around the edges, but its utter likability wins though, from one zany puppet packed interlude to the next." Full Review

The Reviews Hub

for a previous production "'Bears in Space' entertains its audience with its childish humour and easygoing delivery…The cacophony of characters, each more unusual and grotesque than the next, gives the production a varied and exciting meter that keeps the audience engaged…The only flaw of the performance is that its casual delivery can occasionally cause the illusion of the play to drop…But overall 'Bears in Space' is a success." Full Review

Exeunt Magazine

for a previous production "The plot’s paper thin, but it doesn’t matter...Sometimes all you need is to watch four talented performers really enjoying themselves on stage...If you could accuse them of anything, it would be a strange lack of confidence, reflected in the structure: they throw a bit much at it sometimes…It can get a bit overwhelming. Twee as fuck, too, though it’s funny enough to wear that...You want to tell them to calm down because they’re brilliant, and the heart of the thing they’re doing is enough." Full Review

Delightful, Entertaining, Funny, Great acting, Must see

See it if You like bears, space, puppets, silly humor, storytelling, friendship, innovative staging, or smiling uncontrollably for an hour.

Don't see it if You hate fun or have no soul.

Ambitious, Clever, Entertaining, Funny, Great acting

See it if You like funny, clever, slightly more experimental theater with puppets and great comedic acting. Reminded me a bit of hitchhikers guide.

Don't see it if you are looking for a more traditional play, don't like fantasy/adventure stories.

Clever, Great acting, Original, Enchanting, Entertaining

See it if you like quickfire comedy & puppets, funny accents, cartoonish stories. Original, fun, energetic. 10x better than Ave Q and not crass.

Don't see it if you don't want to see the above

Entertaining, Hilarious, Great writing, Refreshing, Ambitious

See it if You enjoy wonderful acting, clever dialogue and witty banter.

Don't see it if You expect a linear story and logical conclusion.

Funny, Entertaining, Delightful, Great staging, Ambitious

See it if you're looking for amazing, connected actors who create a fun story with a lot of heart and humor to it.

Don't see it if you don't like puppetry.

Ambitious, Clever, Enchanting, Funny, Epic

See it if You like a charming story told with great humor and wit. It was a fairy tale with bears

Don't see it if You dislike "simple" stories, if puppetry bothers you

Clever, Delightful, Hilarious, Great acting, Quirky

See it if you are in need of a show that is boldly silly, and unapologetically absurd.

Don't see it if you are in search of something profoundly moving or thought-provoking.

Funny, Quirky, Entertaining, Great staging, Original

See it if You want to see a play about a Samuel Becket for kids kind of style

Don't see it if You don't like the weird or unconventional or puppets.

Ambitious, Clever, Great acting, Imaginative, Quirky

See it if you enjoy a little something different in your theater fare. This was that and then some.

Don't see it if you are any one of the following: stodgy, uptight. snobbish, and/or stern. Actually, see it anyway - this may help you lose those qualities.

Also fresh, crazy, flying-by-the-seat-of-your-pants theater. Not to be miss... Read more Read less

Quirky, Funny, Enchanting, Delightful, Fun

See it if you would love to see the 50s sci fi puppet show your friends made at 10-years-old written, acted and directed professionally.

Don't see it if you think good theater has to be serious.

Funny, Great staging, Quirky, Edgy, Weird

See it if You want to see sci-fi fable told thru really raggedy bear puppets. Among my group, consensus was "Dafuq did I just watch? Like it, though"

Don't see it if You don't want to see something weird, preferring a conventional stage experience.

Funny, Great acting, Great staging, Quirky, Edgy

See it if You are entertained by quirky, surprising and inventive theatre and can laugh easily at ridiculousness.

Don't see it if You don't like puppetry or unusual staging/story; and silliness irritates you

Clever, Entertaining, Edgy, Great acting

See it if you enjoy a silly story with great puppets. It is very fringe show like.

Don't see it if puppets are not your thing.

Delightful, Enchanting, Funny, Fluffy, Refreshing

See it if you're looking for a strange and silly piece that wants nothing but to entertain in a Trey Parker + Alex Timbers + Monty Python way.

Don't see it if You can't tolerate even a bit of sophomoric entertainment- this isn't deep, it's not super-polished. It's bears. That are in space.

Absorbing, Clever, Ambitious, Hilarious, Must see

See it if you enjoy absurd humor and self-aware shows and want to see something lighthearted.

Don't see it if you want to see a moving production. or are particularly keen on space being a part of the show. it's mostly bears.

Clever, Entertaining, Original, Quirky, Funny

See it if enjoy very funny writing and over the top acting. the puppets and visuals are great.

Don't see it if monty python type humor or puppets

Clever, Entertaining, Funny, Quirky, Original

See it if You like British humor and interesting stories told through puppetry

Don't see it if You don't like puppets or bears

Quirky, Original, Whimsical, Fun, Clever

See it if You enjoy good, quirky fun. This is low-budget, high reward. Tight-knit ensemble is very inventive and clearly enjoys storytelling + music

Don't see it if You don't want to use your imagination or not into silly humor. Play w a variety of puppetry styles to enhance story, but come open minded.

Also Bears. In space. Pleasantly surprised that such a simple concept could... Read more Read less

Clever, Funny, Entertaining, Quirky

See it if You want some really good laughs in a refreshing show. Original and creative. Fun, inventive storytelling! You're open to silliness.

Don't see it if You take yourself or theater too seriously. You dislike puppets. Your humor is high brow.

Witty, Delightful, Crazy, Quirky, Original

See it if You like British humor, and would enjoy a wacky humorous performance.

Don't see it if You want a deeper, thought-provoking experience.

Clever, Funny, Entertaining, Original

See it if You like silly characters, puppets and want to see something original and entertaining

Don't see it if The idea of bear puppets who travel through space doesn't make you laugh

Clever, Fluffy, Quirky, Funny, Entertaining

See it if You want to laugh out loud, want to see Jack Gleeson aka King Joffrey from GOT in a very different role and like physical/puppetry shows.

Don't see it if You want a serious play or can't laugh at the silliness that is a show which is about bears in space. Are looking for big sets.

Funny, Quirky, Riveting

See it if you want to see great storytelling

Don't see it if you dislike puppets

Camp, Hilarious, Fun, Absurd, Quirky

See it if you're in the mood for some fun, low-brow entertainment, you want to laugh and see actors having a good time on stage

Don't see it if you take yourself too seriously and cannot appreciate intended stupidity, you dislike smaller scale festival-esque productions

Delightful, Entertaining, Funny, Original, Quirky

See it if you enjoy puppetry, laughter, and unique storytelling; also if you want to support Irish theatre.

Don't see it if the squeaky chairs in the venue would ruin your enjoyment of the show.

Cast & Creatives (9)