Review: Bubblewrap & Boxes
This review originally appeared on www.australianstage.com.au
Luke O’Connor takes special care of his boxes. One day,Christy Flaws arrives in a box of her own. What follows inBubblewrap & Boxes is a series of farcical chases with interpretations of the letters and postcards found in a mailbag.
A generally agreeable show, it fails to rise above mild amusement. The show is at its best – and its young audience the most content – when the show goes back to its title: boxes. The simple pleasure of playing with the boxes: hiding, darting in and out, protection of the small boxes, and not wanting to leave the large boxes. The clowning (and, in particular, the pratfalls) that came with this was the biggest hit with the audience.
The attempt to impose multiple narrative structures, as the two characters take their clues from postcards and letters, is not completely successful. As with the boxes leading the way to simple adventures, the more simple the narrative the more successful the conceit becomes – reading a postcard with a picture of a shark on it gives the actors more to do, and the audience to respond to, rather than an image of the Eifel tower.
Acrobatics are relatively simple, and fluently executed. When they get a chance to play in their roles across the stage, rather than moments of stagnancy, you see O’Connor and Flawshave generous clowning personalities: O’Connor at his best when running in a panic, Flaws at her best when her character shows off.
This show is fine, the performers have talent, and the young audience in the hot Bosco Theatre tent was amused without becoming restless. Yet, it never took any elements and raised the production into something special, beyond much more than an adequate piece of family theatre.
Asking for Trouble presents Bubblewrap & Boxes. Performers Christy Glaws and Luke O’Connor, sound designer Ania Reynolds.