Review by Kate Gaul
Trunk Theatre Project from Korea blend physical theatre, miniature set design and puppetry, along with a glassy live score, Trunk Theatre Project’s family-friendly adventure takes place entirely underwater. Trunk Theatre Project make compact miniature stage sets that fit in a trunk so that they can be taken out anytime, anywhere. They find the meaning of the work by pursuing the irreplaceable uniqueness of the play.
“Blub Blub” is a story about two fish chaotically cohabitating in an aquarium. One is jumping on a trampoline to escape, while the other is trying to break the wall. Featuring newly composed songs inspired by Camille Saint-Saëns' “The Carnival of the Animals”, “Blub Blub” is a charming and fun story about two fish. An adventurous fish has been thrown into an aquarium and comes across another who has adapted to his environment in the glass tank. While both are dissatisfied with their current living situation, their methods of achieving liberation differ. One longs for a better life and is jumping on a trampoline to escape over the glass wall, while the other longs to swim beyond the wall and tries to break it, not just for herself, but for every fish that desires to. Despite their different outlooks on life, the two fish fall in love.
Actors Hyon Chaeah & Kim Min bring wide-eyed energy to their fish roles, wearing large hats of scales made of plastics and other reclaimed materials. The piece is performed in English with a strong dance and physical theatre component which could be extended. Creating the underwater world is easier and more complex using the body. Director Cho Yeeun is on stage playing live with accompanist Park Jinho. The rarely seen melodica (keyboard operated but blowing through a tube) is on show. Overhead projectors provide an image for the backdrop of green seaweed. When the human world intrudes into the fishbowl the shadows are super scary and it’s possible to feel the scale of tank fish life. The restaurant scene is another success as the newly arrived fish describes her time swimming amongst future meals.
This is an average hour in the theatre. The company do however offer Korean gifts to the audience on the way in (great marketing ploy). Stories of those who dream of liberation and escape are universal and there is something for everyone in this gentle tale.