This is a storytelling piece which takes you on a car journey around the North Circular to the Canning Town Schvitz, East London's last authentic bath house. On the way, there are stop-offs at major landmarks in the protagonist's childhood and adolescence, and more generally in the Jewish cultural heritage which informed it. The autobiographical piece is written and performed by Nick Cassenbaum, in a traditional bathrobe and pool slippers.
Bubble Schmeisis is not a piece of theatre which asks questions, or not explicitly. It is truly a story; a man, telling you about his life experience. The audience is constantly involved in the piece through humour (and literally - through a moments of direct audience interaction) but mainly the play offers a moment for reflection on the experiences being shared, and their significance for the protagonist as well as for their role in the rich cultural make-up of Great Britain.
It took a little while to get used to this gentle format; to begin with, my expectation for intrigue or theatrical devices hindered my enjoyment of the piece. But once invited into Cassenbaum's warm, funny and honest account of growing up as a modern British Jew, there was a sense of shared naivety - we were discovering adulthood along with Cassenbaum - fostering an intimacy which supported and carried the piece right to the end.
Jewish history and culture are under-represented in theatre and film, and this play addresses that issue with patience and a welcoming charm. I didn't feel chastised for my ignorance on the issues at hand; Cassenbaum just gently offered the opportunity to learn.