What a powerhouse pair; writer Sarah Collins who had packed houses of delighted choristers as writer/performer of last year’s wonderful Choir Girl and her partner gifted comic performer Justin Kennedy who can get a laugh from the smallest hand gesture or lifted brow. Last time they worked together was on the beautiful Donna and Damo which impressed me enormously at the time and this is in the same vein of heart-warming sweet romance, melancholy and laughs.
Although Justin as bucket salesman cum wedding DJ Buckets is the main character in the show, he is not alone. He mostly mimes to an ever present voice over provided warmly by Felix Nobis. Beside him is guitarist and singer Rhys Auteri who acts as a perfect low key foil to the effervescent Buckets while he provides a gorgeous acoustic score of well-known songs such as (The Bee Gees’) ‘Emotion’ and ‘Islands in the Stream’ and also plays Buckets’ best friend, a possum living in the tree outside his home. The other person making an appearance on stage is skilled puppeteer Jem Nicholas who does amazing things I can’t give away.
The story and style is reminiscent of a sentimental Daniel Kitson story show if he had actors on stage acting it out while he narrated. The Narrator here, Felix does a stunning job at interpreting Sarah’s quirky script and Sarah does a stunning job of evoking unseen characters and places, like all the people living around Buckets’ in his block of flats. It’s hard to talk about what happens without giving any of it away as part of the joy is discovering it as it all unfolds before you. Needless to say there are a lot of buckets on stage.
From the moment Justin Kennedy appears on stage the audience is captivated, Justin’s charm and charisma is dazzling and his comic miming skills are divine. The laughs, gasps and simpers from the audience are proof that he has us in the palms of his hands every moment he is on stage. There are no dull spots the story has you gripped from start to end, which could also be because of excellent balanced direction from Yvonne Virsik. Sound and lighting are also top notch.
Bucket’s List is a great show to take a date to, it’s very funny and sweet and everyone leaves grinning, feeling uplifted, warm and fuzzy. Don’t miss it.
Buckets’ List is on at The North Melbourne Town Hall – Rehearsal Room at 9pm until October 4.