Tumbling across the stage with the energy of ten children's birthday parties, Playhouse International (Romania and Australia) create a completely chaotic environment which is bound to please your young ones.
If you're after a bubble show with a little extra, this is the perfect show for families.
Milkshake the Clown kicks off proceedings, making the audience feel completely at ease. Her audience interaction doesn't seem forced but instead proves endearing. She truly does inhabit the spirit of a child and it's a charming endeavour which rarely wears thin. Opposite Milkshake is Aaron, whose grumpiness compliments her over the top enthusiasm perfectly. Whilst he does ham up his misfortune to levels which parents may tire of, it suits the pantomime-esque land of Bubbletopia.
Pulled by Milkshake into a land where the bubbles have disappeared, Aaron must remember who Doctor Bubble is in order to save Bubbletopia from the Bubble Beast. It might sound weird written down, but the narrative neatly explores the different levels of bubble magic, which progress as Aaron learns to cheer up and care for others. The adventure plot of the show also means there's plenty besides bubbles: the two actors dance, jump and contort themselves around the stage through different realms. Their physicality is fantastic to watch and this variety means that the bubble segments are even more impressive for it.
The production value is admittedly a bit low, with characters made from crude puppetry, but the effect is still one of a new world filled with wonderment and monsters galore. The Bubble Beast may frighten some younger children but the bubble party finale that follows is fantastic. The actors promised to bring the bubbles to the audience and we were not disappointed. The gasps from children in the audience can only confirm that the spectacle is as magical from their viewpoint as it was from mine.
If you're after a bubble show with a little extra, this is the perfect show for families. The plot is simple and pays off nicely, and the show's principles of friendship and kindness are injected into the performance at suitable times so that it doesn't seem too sickly sweet. Wear something that you don't mind getting some washing up liquid on and you'll have a grand time.