Edinburgh Fringe 2019
“Welcome to the eye-popping drawing adventure presented on a magical whiteboard. As two mischievous friends play, mysterious creatures appear and disappear as they draw and erase on the blank space with ink markers. Join the friends as they fill in the blanks with imagination, and unleash their impulse to draw and erase! Using the magic of projection to bring the doodles to life, this highly technical and utterly charming story is a show like no other. Let the doodles stir up your imagination!”
The start of this imaginative show is fun and interactive when the performers invite children to draw – or doodle – on a whiteboard, which is incorporated in the show. This begins an immediate rapport between the audience and two performers.
Three musicians sit at the side of the stage area playing original music and sound effects in the background, throughout the show. The performers make vocal sounds but do not speak, other saying than one word here and there, which makes the show universal and everyone can understand it.
They need light on the stage and the performers have a novel way of finding it! This sets the tone for the show very well. The two vibrant performers play with the light, which leads into a short dance sequence suggested by the charming live music played by a drummer, and two keyboards players. The musicians also create wacky sounds and are fun to watch, especially when they join in with a dance step or two while playing their instruments.
Within 5 minutes of the start of Doodle Pop young children are very engaged and laughing. Although this is a children’s show it is clever and creative and will engage adults, or older siblings too.
The stage area and backdrop encompass a large white space, which is very versatile and easy to see from the audience. The two characters, wear black and white costumes and become playful – and just like young people they become competitive and then play together, which is endearing.
They draw large outline images, in front of our eyes – and like magic – the images move and disappear! This is fascinating, seems impossible but it really happens.
High tech meets low tech in this show. The performers draw simple sketches with thick felt tip pens on the whiteboard – and magic happens!
The precision and split second timing that is needed by the two performers and technical crew to synchronise the sophisticated animated technology in Doodle Pop is astounding. It always works 100% every time!
There are short moments of shadow play of animals and sound effects, then a turtle is drawn by hand – and moves up the white wall. Then the turtle, walks along the back wall – it’s a velvety puppet. This puppet is a bit too small and hard to see, due to its dark green colour against the black background of the theatre – but the children spot it and call out spontaneously!
In one or two scenes the characters are surprised at what happens, which engages everyone because it’s relatable and humourous. There is also a lovely underwater sequence created with shimmering light, a tiny fish – and even a doodle sea monster.
The structure of the show is effective, starting small and gentle and building in energy and visual imagery. Both performers play charming empathetic characters that appeal to children and relate to the audience, with clear gestures and facial reactions. The performers take their time and in quiet moments the audience is fully focused on what’s happening. Themes and situations vary and change, which holds the attention of the youngest children in the audience.
Doodle Pop is quality children’s entertainment. This is a fun, intelligent show with humour, music, mime and movement, told through excellent visual storytelling and innovative creativity – Highly Recommended!