Bubbemeises is Yiddish, it translates simply as a grandmother's story, a tall story; and what a fantastic, funny and genuinely honest storyteller Nick Cassenbaum is in this, the first night of his UK tour of Bubble Schmeisis.
Writer and Performer Cassenbaum invites you to join him in the Canning Town Schvitz, East London’s last authentic bath house. A place where you cleanse your mind and clean your touchus!
With authentic; interactive and extremely funny Bubbemeises story telling, spending an evening with Cassenbaum is like meeting up with an old friend. After all, it’s not often that a Performer meets his audience at the entrance to the theatre dressed in a bathrobe and flip-flops, with a cheeky smile, an introduction and a handshake but Cassenbaum pulls this off and it thoroughly compliments his writing and storytelling.
Cassenbaum wants you to feel at home in the steam of the Schvitz and he achieves this by taking his audience quite literally on a journey around London (a street map of the North Circular is provided on the back of the programme), with autobiographical tales of growing up as an Essex Jew; with a schmakiel that didn’t quite look like those of the other boys at school; with hilarious tales of Federation of Zionist Youth Jewish Summer Camps and various family rituals, but also with several honest accounts of anti-Semitism that actually make you hold your breath in shock.
This by no means a one-man show, Cassenbaum is joined on stage by two live klezmer musicians Dan Gouly and Josh Middleton, both wearing bathrobes and flip-flops and whom provide an authentic and stirring soundtrack to the storytelling. Both very talented musicians with comedic timing that both matches and compliments Cassenbaums’.
Bubble Schmeisis climaxes with a hilarious (intimate) enactment of a schmeiss, the central ritual of the shvitz with audience interaction and an acknowledgement from Cassenbaum that one day these rituals stories may sadly be forgotten. His final line invites you to allow him to schmeiss you and I highly recommend that you take him up on this offer and get your touchus down to the theatre to purchase your tickets as this tour deserves to sell out!
Bubble Schmeisis moves on to Battersea Arts Centre, London on 21st April and then continues to tour around the UK: http://www.nickcassenbaum.com/bubble-schmeisis
Reviewer: Alan Stuart Malin
Reviewed: 20th April 2017
North West End Rating: ★★★★