Devised by Theatre Ad Infinitum and presented as part of York Theatre Royal’s 2016 Takeover Festival, Bucket List is a powerful and compelling show that focuses on the young life of Milagros, a girl who is growing up on the boarder of Mexico and America. Growing up in the shadow of poverty but surrounded by love, Milagros’ life is changed for ever when her mother is murdered during a protest for factory workers’ rights. Told through physical theatre, dance, story-telling, music and singing, this visceral and hard-hitting piece captivates the audience and makes them examine their own values as well as that of the characters portrayed on stage.
The company, made up of Vicky Araico Casas, Charlotte Dubery, Orian Mitchaeli, Deborah Pugh and Stefanie Sourial was a true ensemble, and this was clearly shown during the performance. With the exception of the actress playing Milagros, each actor played a myriad of parts as well as melting effortlessly into the background when required. The physicality of each actor and their team work was flawless, and all the movement pieces were slick and evidently well rehearsed. The repetition of key movements was particularly effective and acted as a thread to hold the piece together. The relationships between the character of Milagros and her friends and family were particularly well crafted and showed a believable tenderness between them all. This gave the audience the chance to sympathise with the main character even when her actions became questionable later on in the play.
Supporting the actors throughout the piece was the live musician Haruna Komatsu. Her haunting and eclectic music, supported the story perfectly and gave a beautiful and at times disturbing soundtrack to the short life of Milagros and of her community. Running at 90 minutes the performers managed to hold the audience’s attention throughout it all. It was only at the end when the story became slightly more predictable and more reliant on coincidence that it slightly lost its edge.
Although the company billed this performance as a ‘work in progress’, I disagree; it was a polished and powerful piece of theatre that highlighted the power of corporations and the corruption of many, but also explored the power of love, and family. This production explored many challenging themes and posed questions that the audience will be thinking about for a long time to come. Bucket List will premiere at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival on the 3rd August 2016. If you are in Edinburgh during the festival I would highly recommend you go and see this production, you will not be disappointed!
The production in one word: Powerful!
Reviewer: Elizabeth Vile
Reviewed: 15th July 2016
North West End Rating: ★★★★