Edinburgh Fringe 2012
"Louis Pearl, the Amazing Bubble Man, has been thrilling audiences around the world for nearly 30 years with the art, magic and science of bubbles. " A packed George Square Theatre saw him do the impossible with bubbles of all sizes.
Louis Pearl knows his bubbles. In this show we learn about how bubbles are made,how they can be made not to pop, and how you can get one bubble inside another. And a lot more besides. The show is packed with nuggets of knowledge about bubbles from a man who, over the next hour, demonstrates his expertise and love of his craft.
Often |Pearl talks to the children a little too like little adults. He has a mock-irritation in his voice at times, But magic though lies in the spectacle not the man. That’s isn’t to say he isn’t humorous and many a quip raised a laugh from the grown-ups.
This is a large venue and there’s no use of a microphone in parts. He uses a boot camp shout at times and I think it detracts a bit from the charm. Liose the handheld mic and go for a radio one to free up the hands for some gesture and connection during some of the routines – this would add something I think.
But these bubbles, under lights, are beautiful , inducing oohs, ahs and fascinated silence.
There were plenty of bubble lovers in the audience who loved this show. There is plenty of variety and there’s something gentle about the various feats, the quality of liquid, air, floating and soft movement that gives the show such a special feel. It feels like a show that’s good for you.
And we are offered a little science along the way. For example, we find out how and why bubbles pop and how to stop them popping !
Staging is a bit static – there’s such a lot of scope for taking this show in one of two directions. Lights and music could up the spectacle creatively. Or we could have something simpler, black box and minimal, allowing the bubbles to be even more the stars. What we have instead is a show that sits somewhere between – there are various props and it is all centred around a man who often sounds a bit irritated and dispassionate. Do this. Do that. This is this. That is that. His personality is often part of the comic effect but those comedy moments are way above the heads of the toddlers packed in the front rows. Warm it all up or make it less central to the interaction with the audience.
It’s a show that leaves the children fascinated, enchanted and restless to get that fairy liquid bottle our of the clutches of the kitchen sink shelf. Pearl is at ease throughout and brings us an hour that is, at times, funny and has the feel of circus and, at other times, is simply beautiful and graceful. He is aman who can make bubbles do impossible things. What more can you ask? Recommended.