The Amazing Bubbleman
The Walker Theatre
Sunday 9th April
When someone refers to themselves as amazing it is either in ironic context and they aren’t remotely amazing at anything, or they literally are amazing. The latter refers to The Amazing Bubble man. There is no irony in this nomenclature he is amazing.
From out of Berkley, California the Amazing Bubble Man (ABM) presents a show like you may have never seen before. The entire show is about the many zillion ways there are to blow bubbles. How could that engage an audience of children? Surely an hour of blowing bubbles has got to be way too long? The answer is whether you are 8 or 80 the ABM will have something for you. Sixty minutes wasn’t nearly long enough.
The ABM is a genius. Not only is he quick-witted and instantly engaging but he is scientifically amazing too. He has studied bubbles to a depth that mere mortals might consider impossible. But as one leaves the theatre there is no doubt that bubbles are a science and the manipulation of such delicate, ephemeral jewels takes an incredibly analytical brain. To make an act of it is to create a fascinating platform for Science and Entertainment to meet and converge.
But taken that as read it is incredible to watch ABM communicate with his audience. As it was predominantly a children’s show he wasn’t short of volunteers to join him for his various tricks. The children loved him almost immediately, as did the adults, but his style, his unassuming way of talking to his audience is an art form in itself.
He doesn’t use the children to get crafty laughs for the adults, as is the way with so many children’s entertainers, no he spoke directly to everybody. The children felt validated and a real part of the show: as they should. It is a difficult style to interpret into words but he listened as well as he spoke. Children felt special and important as their contribution helped the show along. What is more it all happened in a non-patronising way and as everyone tuned into his sense of humour and he into ours it was all delightfully funny at the expense of no one.
The bubbleography side of the act was fantastic. He created, controlled and commanded so many beautiful colours and bubbles that at times made his act simply breathtaking. The discreet but cleverly used stage lights gave extra colour to the bubbles as they swirled magically above his head. Like the Sorcerer’s Apprentice he conducted with his bubble making tools and the bubbles flew around him in an exploding cacophony of colours shouting out their beauty.
ABM trapped bubbles within bubbles, smoke in those bubbles and even enveloped children into massive bubbles and everyone was enthralled.
What a great introduction to theatre for the children. It is something that one hopes stays with the children forever. It is they in the future, that theatre lovers will rely on to keep the arts alive!
This show is inventive, genius, highly entertaining and hilarious. This review opened questioning the validity of giving one’s self a name including the word amazing. With the Amazing Bubble Man it’s obvious the word Amazing belongs firmly in his name but so does Witty, Clever, Funny and Wonderfully entertaining.
This is A Five Star Review