If you’ve ever struggled to catch a flight while clumsily carrying too many suitcases and bags, there’s lots to smile at here. During this one-woman physical performance, we follow a solo traveller who encounters love, loss and friendship without even leaving the airport. Saras Feijoo is certainly a good-natured enough clown to coax even the most hardened of red nose haters. Although some of her mimes fall flat, Feijoo’s amiable performance is at its best when embracing lively dance segments, as she prances across the stage and into the audience, cheerful and vivacious. The concluding message from the Venezuelan performer emphasising the importance of love across international borders is heart warming, without being saccharine.
If you’ve ever struggled to catch a flight while clumsily carrying too many suitcases and bags, there’s lots to smile at here
Blooming Surprise is surprisingly family friendly, despite the 12+ age suggested, with most of the clowning around being in the familiar vein of CBeebies’ popular character, Mr Tumble. One character imaginatively crafted from a suitcase is even reminiscent of lo-fi 80’s favourite, Button Moon. However, there is a subtle and cautious exploration of sexuality throughout, which provides several laughs without being explicit enough to result in any awkward questions from younger members of the audience. Unfortunately, this creates an obvious imbalance. She seems unable to decide whether she wants to appeal to an older audience by looking to rediscover the amusement of clowning in a contemporary and adult approach, or simply perform pratfalls for kids. Either way the show too often strays into an awkward middle territory and therefore is unlikely to fully satisfy either party. There is however, certainly scope to develop this into an unpretentious analysis of the tribulations of adult life. Alternatively, with a bit of shrewd editing to shorten the run time and drawing further attention towards the creative and colourful use of props, this would almost certainly delight and entertain a pre-school audience.
As it is, Blooming Surprise might not be the surprise hit of the fringe, but there is certainly enough warmth and wellbeing to light up the dark Theatre Box and justify spending a sunny afternoon indoors.