The whimsical, surreal world of Doodle Pop envelops the family audience as they enter Assembly George Square Studio One. Youngsters are handed board markers by the two key performers and asked to help draw portraits of them on portable whiteboards. These are then transported to the stage and as the lights dim, the kids’ collective works of art become a part of Doodle‘s opener.
The South Korean show, created by Brush Theatre, is a trippy, playful production that, for some adult members of the audience, might feel like a throwback to wacky TV shows like Art Attack or Zzzap!. The live music is sweet and spritely and the performers communicate in cartoonish ooohs, aaahs, squeals, and mumbles, moving in exaggerated, clownish ways. This is physical theatre for children and comes to life through dance, wiggles, kicks, and jumps, and the backdrop to all of this is a huge whiteboard that comes to life magically with projections, spotlights, and skilfully and swiftly-drawn doodles and murals. Spot-on timing and placement is needed to pull off the visual gags and the skilled performers of Doodle Pop have every move perfected.
After the first half, which establishes the projection-based premise of the show, the second half then becomes an underwater odyssey, showcasing various creatures and dreamlike encounters. Hand puppetry is also employed in a fun way and there’s even a running storyline of a lost turtle which brings heart to all the manic digital antics. It is a shame that the audience participation ceases at the show’s intro – particularly for a children’s show – as the high-paced performance might eventually wear the crowd out. However, the musicians do dish out high fives as we leave and the performers greet us in the studio foyer.
Doodle Pop is bright, clever, and captivating, and definitely a show that will genuinely appeal to both children and their accompanying adults. Arts and craft merchandise is even available afterwards to satisfy your inevitable post-show artistic urges!