Edinburgh Fringe 2016
“Come see every bubble trick imaginable. Big, small and sculpted bubbles, the bubble carousel, the square bubble, smoke bubbles, caterpillar bubbles, tightrope bubbles, the bubble blizzard, bubbles in bubbles and children in bubbles. Bubble Show with Milkshake and Dr Bubble is a bubbly and colourful theatre work (starring Australian-Romanian duo Iulia Benze and Kurt Murray) containing a full bubble magic show told through a relatable story for children and adults alike. For kids aged between 3 – 14. With bold and bright characters, music, humor and every bubble trick in the book!”
All the ingredients are here for a fun hour with bubbles for kids of just about any age. Milkshake is a clown (very well performed, full on and engaging) who is helped by Dr Bubble (commanding, cheeky and highly skilled) to deal with a whole bunch of Milkshake’s fears that prevent the show from starting. It’s a neat backdrop to a set of increasingly impressive bubble routines. Bubbles are beautiful, especially under stage lights and being produced and floating to well chosen music. Add the chaos of kids popping them and plenty of clowning and what we have here is a mad-cap, fun, and chaotic hour.
It’s all held together by the two performers who tend towards volume and plenty of banter with each other and the audience. The show builds to a climax where there are so many bubbles the whole place is filled with them – bubbles large and small, giant and tiny, and of impossible shapes too. Sometimes it felt as if there was too much talk and not enough bubbles – but that’s because the way the show itself is designed creates an insatiable appetite for them!
Plenty of comedy routines – both physical and verbal – reach the adult as well as the childish sense of humour and the Doctor and Milkshake are accomplished physical comedians. The children thoroughly enjoyed themselves and more than a few adults were to be seen staring, fascinated, back in their own childhoods, as a bubble offered itself to their close gaze and popping fingertips.
Something did spoil the proceedings at the very end – for me and the child I had brought with me. I also heard a few other parents speaking in a dissatisfied way about it too. It was the much too hard sell to put money in the bucket at the end. The scrutiny we felt from the performer who ensured we didn’t leave until he was firmly placed at the entrance with a bucket for an amount of cash he’d even specified in his spiel on stage was uncomfortable and over the top. Whilst I accept it is OK on the Free Fringe to politely pitch for money at the end, the way this was done was unpleasant. He even made us feel guilty that we had got into the show but “over 200 people were turned away”. This pitch at the end of the show spoiled the atmosphere and it needs to be either warmed up or toned down.
Apart from that a recommended show the kids and adults alike will love.