Whilst at first it may be mistaken for a set-up more appropriate for dealing with a leaky roof, this was actually the setting for a feel-good, abstract and expressive play presented by an energetic and vibrant ensemble. The cast were constantly rushing about the stage, whether it be embodying different climates or merging to create various vehicles. The physical theatre was incredibly impressive, a particularly outstanding scene being the formation of a cave where the word “hello” was echoed and fingers were used as a swarm of fireflies. Directly from the off, the rapport between the cast members was palpably trusting and intimate and it was evident throughout that they were having pure, unadulterated fun on stage, whether it be with a plethora of bucket-related puns or various daring lifts.
Props were ingeniously given multiple purposes
The staging and setting was very minimalistic, consisting of buckets filled with books and other necessary props, and the cast remained in a single outfit the entire time. The costumes were very much individual to the character and the actor, with the majority in sweatpants; comfort was clearly key in this very active performance. Props were also ingeniously given multiple purposes; the books were used as birds flying around as ideas to be captured for a novel. The concept of a movie marathon was taken to a whole new level with the cast running on the spot to an accompanying narration in the style of a horse race. When someone lagged behind, or ‘fell asleep’, slow-motion was used to pull them back into the line and the running recommenced.
The lighting was left up for the majority of the play, making it less performative and more immersive for the audience. We remained thoroughly enthralled throughout, the actors taking us on their journeys of self-discovery and revealing their hopes and wishes to us in emotive monologues. The mutual support given during these monologues, which were given to each other as much as to the audience, once again displayed how compatible a group the cast were.
the play became remarkably self-reflexive and profound in pondering the stresses of inevitable post-uni life
Despite all the fun and games, the play became remarkably self-reflexive and profound in pondering the stresses of inevitable post-uni life and the unnecessary pressures we put on ourselves to create goals in a bucket list. Ultimately, they concluded, we should all accept individual aims and relieve ourselves of the pressure of having to complete a certain number of things by the time we die. This message was relevant to every member of the audience, and came as a refreshing reassurance that there are others in the same boat as us and we how can afford alleviate some of our daily stress. The cast helped one another to realise each other’s potential and would go along with each individual’s imaginings by acting them out onstage. As an audience member I felt thoroughly entertained throughout, and the actors’ enjoyment on stage could not help but influence the audience as well.
The play became cyclical at the end, a girl whose wish it was to have confetti thrown over her, having that wish come true, adding to the feel-good atmosphere which had been pervasive throughout. Buckets proved to be a truly heart-warming and nuanced play with an incredibly enthusiastic and talented ensemble.