Singsing Bathtub and Fernando, the Space Elephant
A misfiring show in the wrong space fails to achieve lift-off
This article is from 2016.
Slick and technically impressive on one level, but ultimately soulless on every other, Korean company Wiz Productions' Singsing Bathtub and Fernando, the Space Elephant tells of young Chan, who copes with his parents' arguments by escaping into his imagination and out into space.
When he hooks up with a classmate at the zoo, they imagine the elephant is a baby alien, grown too big to leave earth. Using its dung as magical rocket fuel, they set off to the far reaches of outer space to find its mother.
All the while, this ticks boxes and packs in message after message, until it so full of moral instruction that it has more in common with the 'improving' Victorian novel than an exciting adventure of the imagination.
It is desperately sad to see so much effort come to so little. Maybe there is a cultural difficulty here – there are certainly language issues. But these surely could have been overcome. The technology doesn't help – it looks good but distances the human story from the audience making any interaction feel contrived, while the choice of venue is baffling, as it adds physical distance between performers and audience.
Assembly George Square Studios, until 29 Aug (not 22), 12.15pm, £10–£11 (£9).