Review: H2O

by Lynn on May 19, 2021

in The Passionate Playgoer

Part of WeeFestival for Families, 2021.

From Helios Theater, Germany

Created by the company

Directed by Barbara Köling

Musician, Roman D. Metzner

Scenography by Michael Lures and Barbara Köling

Performed by Michael Lurse and Matthias Damberg

Drip. Drip. Drip. You hear the sound first. The camera closes in on a rectangle suspended above the stage as drops of water fall from it and splash onto a glass below. Our imagination assumes the rectangle is a melting piece of ice. Rather than a torture, listening to the dripping, it’s mesmerizing—the power of that little drop to make such a compelling sound and create such a splashing reaction when it hits the surface of the glass.

The stage is completely covered in a blue plastic covering. A man wearing boots, carrying two pails of water arrives and clomps across the stage. Another man is bare-foot as he walks across the stage. Over time the men will: make water spray up gracefully into the air from two sopping sponges; water will be sucked up by straws in glasses; water will create rumbling bubbles in the glass when the air is pushed back into the straw in the water; and more and more water will accumulate over that stage so that a make-shift pool is formed.  

One of the men carefully places the nozzle of a hose in the water so that a gentle gush flows into the edge of the pool; objects are placed on the water to float and the gush from the hose gently moves the objects around the pool.

The images of the clean, clear water get more and more complex and compelling. I love that the formation of the water sprays and bubbles and the sounds always serve to show the beauty, effect and importance of water. At no time do the performers spit or spray water at each other in a teasing game. It’s all done with respect for the water. And without saying a word we think of water’s importance to the environment.

This performance was filmed with an audience of children. It was lovely hearing them react to the effects. And at the end, the children were invited to feel the drip of the water from the ‘melting ice’, to blow delicately into a straw and touch the water with respect.

Helios Theatre first brought this show, H2O to The WeeFestival in 2014 for a limited audience. Streaming allows a much broader audience to see this wonderful work. Don’t miss it.

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