This is one of two offerings at the Fringe this year from Iulia Benze and Kurt Murray, featuring high energy physical movement, bubble art and audience interaction. In this production, Benze whips the audience into a frenzy as she rouses us into a state of exuberant clapping, chanting and an atmosphere where anything could happen, as Murray dazzles us with rotating, steam filled bubbles cascading across the room. There are bubble body parts aplenty, including a particularly skilled bubble penis which emits foam ejaculate.
A high energy hour of bubbles, buffoonery and slapstick comedy which will have you looking at bubbles in a way you never have before
There are moments of magnificence in this performance, as Benze and Murray are clearly very talented performers. Detailing their relationship via slapstick comedy, hyperbolic facial expressions and physical movement, Murray quite literally jumps through hoops for Benze with some spectacular flips and jumps. Similarly, one of the highlights of the performance for me was an acrobatic performance by Benze where she simultaneously performs the splits whilst creating impressively large double bubble arches. There are also scenes by Benze with a spider web scarf and broken baby which produce a spectacular rain of bubbles on the audience.
However, this is juxtaposed with some random, and markedly unsexy moments. For example Benze pulling tampons out of her pants and throwing them into the audience; a curiously awkward scene in which Murray becomes a sperm attempting to fertilise bubble eggs; and a random part at the end in which the audience are instructed to kiss each other. The atmosphere dropped at this point, and not because the audience were homophobic – as suggested by Murray – but more that it was just so unexpected. There were also more than a few failed feats, which had to be restarted, which detracted from the momentum of such a high energy show.
I came expecting an hour of sexy neo-burlesque cabaret, and whilst there were sexy elements – like Benze’s striptease incorporating a bubble bikini – I had an overwhelming feeling of discomfort that in 2018, this and other elements of the show came across more as sexist than sexy. Not even Murray’s occasional foray into gender bending could balance this out. Clothes and bubbles did fly, as promised – however the kissing between Benze and Murray was awkwardly fake, and the sex appeal was non existent. The show also incorporated many of the same elements as it did last year – including the costumes and all of the bigger performance elements.
This show could be elevated by utilising more of Benze and Murrays’ acrobatic skills and combining these with the bubble art. These were the parts which the audience really responded to. The venue was also not quite right; sitting half way up the tiered seating, I missed a lot of the floor work on offer. This is still an hour of frantic fun, daring dance and bold bubbles which kept the audience entertained and wanting more.