The chemistry between Bubble Laboratory’s Kurt Murray and Iulia Benze is undeniable and much needed for the intimate and risque performance that is Bubble Show for Adults Only.
The pair present a theatrical, slapstick routine using exaggerated expressions and dramatic gestures. There’s the promise of a “surprising story arc”, but it’s not one that the audience can entirely understand. The lady beside me humorously speculates it is either about a relationship losing its spark, or a sperm cell traversing the fallopian tubes.
Benze is undeniably talented and flexible, but the raunchiness of the routines distracts from her skills. Bubble Show for Adults Only often goes beyond kinky to crude, with the gasps from the crowd seeming to indicate shock rather than awe.
The use of a shadow box (behind which the pair perform) is creative and beautiful, bringing an interesting perspective to the show with engaging music and movements. There’s also impressively glitzy and eccentric costuming, and several costume changes keep the audience dazzled.
The bubbles themselves bring the tent to life with sparkles and colour as lights bounce off them. As Benze dons a dress of rope and bubble mixture, she spins before the audience, causing thousands of bubbles to cascade off her body. This prompts the loudest applause of the night.
That said, there is only so much trickery you can do with bubbles, and the illusions become repetitive. Half the show doesn’t utilise bubbles at all, leaving us to be entertained solely by raunchy theatrics. The audience on this night needed a lot of encouragement to cheer and applaud, with half refusing to partake and a number leaving before the show’s end.
One audience member shouts “More bubbles!”. I couldn’t agree more.
If you would like to see bubbles and physical theatre without the innuendo and raunchy theatrics, Bubble Laboratory is also presenting the all-ages Bubble Show with Mini Milkshake in Gluttony’s Spiegeltent.
Bubble Show for Adults Only is in The Octagon at Gluttony until March 19.
Read more 2022 Adelaide Fringe stories and reviews here.
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This article is supported by the Judith Neilson Institute for Journalism and Ideas.