City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

The Bockety World of Henry and Bucket, Festival Theatre Studio, Imaginate Review

By Irene Brown - Posted on 11 May 2015

Web Barnstorm Theatre Co presents  The Bockety World of Henry and Bucket image Dylan Vaughan.JPG
Show Details
Barnstorm Theatre Company
Sarah Argent (director), Philip Hardy (artistic director)
Paul Curley, John Currivan
Running time: 

As scores of teacher chastened school weans gather in the upstairs foyer to enter the auditorium of the Festival Theatre Studio, they are met by the two characters Henry and Bucket from Kilkenny theatre company, Barnstorm. In the spirit of the company’s “bias towards those not usually theatre goers”, they introduced themselves and explained what the word ‘bockety’ meant. And the answer? It means ‘wobbly’.

Bockety, however, sounds an altogether better word to describe the world they’ve invented for this modern day Laurel and Hardy to inhabit. What at first glance looks like a giant Xmas tree is in fact a pile of used cans and plastic bottles that grows by the day as Henry and Bucket deposit their empties after meals. They are two pals who live together in a trash yard where a kind of ordered chaos rules their lives. Their shared home is made up of old tyres, ladders, irons, a decrepit fridge, general junk and lots of plastic sheets. Oh, and a caged mouse.

The accolade of likening them to the comic partnership of the near silent screen is backed up by these two performers sharing their height and build discrepancy but also the fact that they inhabit a simple and impoverished world and wear bowler(ish) hats. Curley also bears a resemblance to Charlie Chaplin and the show relies on elements of physicality and clowning to express identifiable play. They have created extraordinary sounds that chime well to accompany their wacky actions like a kind of verbal mouth music.

Their funny and innocent interplay shows the finely balanced life they have developed and when Henry breaks one of the fragile tenets that holds it together, things start to fall apart. But when you’re stuck, all you want to hear is the sound of a friendly voice so they also achieve happy resolution.

Curley and Currivan have achieved that rather amazing goal of being able to make a small and limited world as big as the sky through inventiveness and imagination, something children have the capacity to do and adults too easily forget. Their fantastical car journey is a joy to behold!

It feels a little sad to leave Henry and Bucket’s bockety world but smiley farewells at the end outside the auditorium from the pair finished this delightful show nicely. Great fun and great theatre!

Monday 11 – Wednesday 13 May
Age recommend 4-8 years