If the thought of a bubble show has you screaming and brings up nightmarish images of paunchy children’s entertainers doing Saturday morning kiddies’ parties with the optional extra of face painting thrown in – “only a fiver, Mum, can’t be bad, eh?” – then you haven’t met the whirlwind of talent and imagination that is Kurt Murray and Iulia Benze.
Under their collective banner of Bubble Laboratory, the pair’s incredible two-man Bubble Show for Adults Only at C Venues is one of the most exuberant pieces of bump-and-grind cabaret theatre that you’re likely to see at the Fringe this year. Or any other year, for that matter. Played to a pounding selection of heart-soaring songs and melodies, and with just a simple set and minimal costumes, Bubble Show miraculously manages to combine cabaret, clowning, burlesque, circus, performance art and even a bit of classical ballet into one enormously entertaining hour of sheer wonder and imagination.
Interacting physically with the audience throughout and utilising phenomenal bubble artistry combined with outstanding physical performance skills and acrobatics, this practically wordless show goes from mesmerising lyrical set pieces to silent film slapstick to exceedingly bawdy humour and back again in the blink of an eye. There are cascades of tiny bubbles, huge bubbles big enough for the performers to step in. Beautiful bubbles, naughty bubbles, very very phallic bubbles, bubbles as pasties, bubbles filled with smoke, ginormous torrents of bubbles that soak the audience and lots of bubbles that do things that Fairy Liquid adverts never dreamed of.
Although the humour borders on the ever-so-slightly sexist at times, this show can be viewed as an homage to Chaplin or Tati (with bubbles) and is a thoroughly enjoyable experience. If you love films like Fiona Gordon’s Rumba you’ll absolutely adore Bubble Show.