The best three years of your life. That’s what people ceaselessly say about university.
What they don’t mention is the anxiety, loneliness and depression that can follow graduation: post-uni blues, or, as Liverpool-based physical theatre company Ugly Bucket spoonerise it for its riotously entertaining show on the subject, Bost-Uni Plues.
It’s a lurid, liberating cocktail of a show – a fast-paced, frenetic maelstrom of clowning, dancing, slapstick and techno. Director Grace Gallagher, Crystal Quinney Barella and Canice Ward – their faces made-up in classic clown-style – act along to Duncan Gallagher’s synth-based soundtrack of mashed-up interviews with recent graduates, taking us through the university experience, from results day, to freshers’ week, to graduation and beyond.
Along the way, there are dancing turtles, water fights and a Mario Kart race. There’s a brilliantly funny sequence with an inflatable mallet.
Gallagher, Barella and Ward supply superb physical performers, constantly gurning and grinning, flopping and falling, and squeaking and squawking throughout.
But amid all the mayhem, there’s a serious message here – about the pressure we put on young people at university and about the need to support each other through the tough times that can follow.
It’s an absolute hoot, with heart.