San Francisco Fringe 2016
“Where hunger and imagination collide, there you will find Beep & Bop. Where Beep is practical, Bop is imagination. Beep feeds their bellies, and Bop feeds their hearts. Brother and sister up against a world that does not care about them, they must create their own world to help them survive.”
This pair of characters wake up in front of our eyes, they play a brother and sister in their own creative world. Using shadows, lights and images projected onto a small screen they begin to tell their story about who they are in their world. Beep is the tidy one and Bop is untidy – among other human attributes.
Wearing leather half masks, they speak, get tangled up in each other and attempt to get through their day. Their obstacles are relative to their circumstance, for they have very little. The beautifully crafted masks are made of leather in the Commedia dell’Arte tradition and the characters embody traits typical of Commedia and theatrical clown, such as seeking food and taking the long winding way round to do something quite simple.
Beep & Bop’s physical storytelling is infused with carefully chosen sound effects, sight gags, slaps, and jokes. They each play several characters with quick as a flash changes, then they play a competitive game, which is very amusing.
It is imaginative, spontaneous, controlled chaos and performed very well – yet they always know where they are going, and their goal.
Underscored with delightful music, Beep & Bop transport us to somewhere else – not sure where, it’s not important – and after seeing several Fringe shows one after the other, I must admit that these two provide a wonderful change of pace. They play together – and with the audience, involving everyone in their fun and sibling absurdity.
As their contrasting characters unfold we learn about their attitude to the simple things of life, and fear. They are zany and it’s easy to sit back and enjoy their stories, funny physical and vocal interactions and quirky personalities. The fifty-minute show flows easily; it is well developed, with just the right amount of time for improvisation and those unexpected moments that come out of spontaneity.
These two performers are well trained in what they do and have pure pleasure sharing their joy, warmth, melancholy and little discoveries. This is a show that would suit all ages – Beep & Bop’s humor is so infectious – it’s a show for everyone!