The premise for Théâtre de Romette’s The Little Bath is a relatively simple one: a man takes a bath. However, the graceful movements taken by the unnamed performer (a rotating trio of actors), alongside the effective use of sound and musi,c helps to create something far more sublime. Unfortunately, the extent to which this is understood by its primary audience of two to six year olds is not necessarily clear.
The Little Bath is incredibly accessible, being an entirely wordless piece that instead relies upon the artful use of movement coupled with foam and bubbles to craft its story. It’s an almost magical affair, as the foam is slowly deconstructed and spread across the stage as the show progresses, helping to craft a mesmerising experience for audiences of all ages. It is a celebration of imagination and playfulness with the foam taking on a cloud-like quality as the performer reshapes it. Creativity runs wild as a result, and the younger members of the audience quickly become astounded and mesmerised by the performance – at least initially.
Each interaction with the foam is a vignette unto itself, with separate lighting and music playing in the background, lending a great deal of variety to something that would otherwise be so simple. Some of these vignettes are comical, as the performer uses the foam to form an elaborate wig and becoming a seductive dancer or decorate the walls of the stage. Other actions are slower and more introspective, and this is where the show, at times, falters.
These slower moments mean that the younger audience the show aims itself at can sometimes lose focus and become restless during these moments, and recapturing their attention can prove difficult. Thankfully, the constantly changing vignettes, coupled with the short running time of the piece, means that the performers often succeed on this front.
Ultimately, what is created is a magical half an hour that entices both adults and children alike, but is in need of refinement to fully engage with the youngest members of its key demographic.