A dying man’s wish: for Ugly Bucket to create and stage a show about death and perform it at his memorial service.
It’s an interesting idea, and mixes high energy physicality with a techno soundtrack, and verbatim discussions played via audio and subtitles. It’s ambitions are high, and there’s no lack of energy in the performances, but the concept is perhaps stretched a little too far for an hour long show.
Clowning is the group’s particular speciality, and their skills drive the show and narrative, Adam Baker being particularly effective as the dying man.
The verbatim experience is translated very well into physicality, but, for me, there was a missed opportunity to explore the more serious side of death. The beat, literally, rarely changes and a party atmosphere is created.
The show reached a natural end about 45 minutes in, when Christmas Day takes place in the summer heatwave, because the dying man won’t be there at Christmas. There’s a beautifully poignant moment when they sing All I Want For Christmas is You, and realising that what they really want, You, won’t be there. Unfortunately, there then follows an overlong sequence involving aliens, which lessens the effect somewhat.
The weakness of the production is that it rarely pauses, but when it does the message is very emotional. The strength is in the physicality of the ensemble, perfectly in time with each other, providing many comic moments.