Bucket List review at Pleasance Dome, Edinburgh – ‘ambitious’

Bucket List at Pleasance Dome, Edinburgh. photo: Jack Offord
Bucket List at Pleasance Dome, Edinburgh. photo: Jack Offord

As an ensemble, Theatre Ad Infinitum is tight as a corset. The company’s use of movement, its performative rigour, and ability to conjure worlds is second to none. This was evident in the moving mask piece Translunar Paradise and in the – strikingly different – Israeli drag cabaret Ballad of the Burning Star.

Its latest show, Bucket List, is a reaction against the North American Free Trade Agreement, signed in 1993, between the US, Mexico and Canada. It’s a roar against the way that the decisions of those in power can devastate the lives of the poor. Written and directed by Nir Paldi, it’s a typically intricate piece, tautly performed by an all-female cast clad in cheap, factory workers’ clothes in front of a backdrop of plastic sheeting.

Milagros, played by Vicky Araico Casas, lives in a tainted world. The rivers, the land, the system – nothing is clean, everything around her is corrupted or poisoned in some way, and those who speak out pay the price.

The company’s ambition and internationalist outlook is admirable. These are stories that need to be told, and there’s a palpable anger to Bucket List, a fist held high in the air. But the piece is so crammed with plot that at times it can feel impenetrable. There are moments that confuse and, as a whole, the piece lacks the clarity of vision of some of the company’s previous work.

Verdict
Intricate, ambitious physical theatre that is occasionally lacking in clarity
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