Theatre preview: Polaris @ Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh

Published by METRO

Tonight (1 February), £15 (£11 concessions, £6 unemployed), Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh. Tel: 0131 228 1404/226 2666. www.traverse.co.uk

Ah yes, I remember this show. The one about two men struggling through a sub-zero wilderness. That powerful tale of endurance, madness and companionship. Those artistic forms of drama, audio and film. What an incredible piece that was.

This could well be how Polaris is recalled after its staging in Edinburgh tonight. Performed by Czech company Wariot Ideal, the work is a stand-out highlight of the manipulate Visual Theatre Festival – taking place at the Traverse all week.

The story sets its scene deep in a polar region, where a pair of lost and starving explorers navigate a lonely landscape in the brutal cold. These tragic heroes forge a bond as they battle to survive and hallucinate their arrivals home.

In a series of powerful tableaux, the men’s efforts allude to courageous voyages of old – well-timed, perhaps, in the centenary year of Captain Scott’s ill-fated Terra Nova Expedition in Antarctica.

Celebrating its fifth birthday this week, manipulate should live to see its 50th if it continues to feature works of this promise.

Polaris shines on the festival’s high-calibre programme of artistic talent, the likes of which only the Traverse can attract.