Friday, July 1, 2016


GAZILLION BUBBLE SHOW. Starring Melody Yang.

Canberra Theatre. Canberra Theatre Centre. Until July 4. Bookings: CANBERRATHEATRECENTRE.COM.AU or 0262752700.

Reviewed by Peter Wilkins


Oh the things you can do with a bubble or two, or three or four and a gazillion more. That is if you are the amazing Melody Yang, conjuress of unbubbleleivable bubble magic. With a wave of the bubble frame she sweeps the air with a sea of bubbles, sending them out over the audience as lights stream through the theatre, coloured beams, slicing through the air to an energizing soundtrack. Bubbles are beckoned from thin air and dance to her command, palpitating to her touch, vanishing in a puff of smoke or performing feats of fantastic illusion, a bubble of smoke, passing through a soap screen sphere of liquid and gas , which closes and restores its shape. This is the wonderment, the marvel and the magic of the Gazillion Bubble Show.

Anyone can blow a bubble, or even a string of bubbles, but who can create such a wonderland of fragile, fleeting moments of reality vaporizing into such stuff as dreams are made on. Gradually Yang unveils each segment of her carefully structured seventy minutes of splendour. Smoke and soap combine to create bubbles of amazement that turn to puffs at the touch. Young volunteers from the audience are brought on to the stage to be enclosed by a bubble capsule that quickly turns to air. Spactators, disappointed that they were not to be the chosen ones, watch on in wonder and delight. On the screen. Yang’s mission is displayed: “What I want is to make you happy” . Excitement turns to happiness. Happiness to joy. And through the wonder of it all, adults and children alike enter a magical world of fantasy. Yang is the mistress of her art, stylish in her presentation, skilled in her sleight of hand. She cajoles the bubbles with her breath, shaping, transforming and seducing them to follow her will. Like a magician on the stage or a lion tamer in the circus ring, Yang is in absolute control of soap and smoke and water. She is an undisputed mistress of her unique, fascinating and beguiling art

Throughout the show, at various times she invites children to join her on the stage. Her only request – that they have an enormous smile. It is not hard to find a child with a wide and delighted grin. Experience has taught her the gentle art of encouragement, and even one young girl, cautious about pretending to be Yang’s niece, quickly submits to the story of a snowbubble wonderland. But nothing has prepared the audience for the underwater seaworld of bubbles, floating out above the audience in a wave of bubbles that burst at the touch. Here, under the sea is a wonderworld of bubbles, a seascape of beauty, art and joy.

Twenty-five year old Yang ventured onto a stage with her parents at the age of four.  She is the consummate artist, creating an awesome spectacle to delight and entrance young and old alike with her display of bubble magic. With her parents and her brother, she holds a Guinness Book of Records award for creating the largest bubble. But it is she, who has travelled the world bringing happiness to countless thousands who watch with amazement the sheer artistry of the four time Tony Award winner.

It all comes to a close in a dazzling, spectacular laser light show with darting, intertwined and streaking shafts of coloured laser lights. The soundtrack swells to a crescendo and bubbles, blown on the wind float above the outreached hands that stretch for the bubble balls that bounce across the theatre.

This is more than a bubble extravaganza. This is an affirmation of the wonder of Nature, the beauty of life and the child that is withn us all. Yang conjures a wonderful, visual and tactile playground of bubble delight. It is a show for the whole family, or anyone who believes that the child still resides within us all, a bubble of wonderment in a world of joy.