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The Edinburgh Fringe - The Amazing Bubble Man Is... Well... Amazing!

09/08/2013 12:33 BST | Updated 07/10/2013 10:12 BST

I've never been to an Edinburgh Fringe show before where quite so many kids have wanted to get up on stage.

Every time the Amazing Bubble Man asked for volunteers, at least fifty small hands would shoot up in the air.

Everyone under the age of eight, it seemed, was desperate to make a bubble, or kiss a bubble, or be put inside a bubble. But whatever they did, it made no difference - the kids always ended up being glooped by a bubble.

Truth be told, I had no idea you could do quite so many things with a bubble. I thought you just blew them up and then popped them - and if you were any good, then maybe you could make a really big bubble.

The Amazing Bubble Man - on until August 25 at Edinburgh's Assembly Rooms - certainly set me right on that one.

In the early 1980s, Louis Pearl invented a new kind of bubble blower in San Francisco. Rather than just selling the bubble-blower, he soon realised that he preferred taking it on stage.

After three decades, the Amazing Bubble Man has got a very slick routine. Children always love bubbles, and the show goes down just as well with toddlers as it does with eight-year-olds.

It's pretty good for the adults too. Pearl's patter has just enough edge to keep you on your toes. "This is stage fog - just like they use in rock-shows," he said, pausing for a beat before adding, "And you know it's totally safe to breathe the air at rock-shows."

Clean over the kids' heads, but the adults liked it.

In between tricks, Pearl throws in the odd bit of science. He tried telling the kids about surface tension - though that probably went clean over their heads too.

No, what the young 'uns wanted was massive, massive bubbles and then to be allowed to prick them - either with a kiss, or with their hands.

Pearl could make bubbles out of pretty much anything - car-keys, fly-swatters, you name it.

A bald man was called up to the front of the stage, and had the indignity of having a smoke-bubble laid on his head. It was a surreal almost Zen-like look; I hope he got the photo.

Pearl lubed up the baldie's head - "Remember the feeling of shampoo?" he said. "It's kinda like this." When he was done, Pearl got out a towel and gave us another well-honed gag: "Here - we'll shine you back up."

Smoky bubbles going up to the ceiling; bubbles that danced and had babies; hundreds of bubbles being turned into a crown on a small girl's head; and at the end of it all, a good old-fashioned water-gun fight. What more could a kid want?