Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating * * * *
Cast: Frog Stone, Miriam Margolyes, Stephanie Beacham, Catherine Steadman, Cyril Nri, Maggie Stead, Iain McKee, Waleed Akhtar, Margaret Cabourn-Smith, Chris Middleton, Sonny Ashbourne Serkis, Samantha Baines, Cicely Giddings, Janine Harouni, Seeta Indrani, Tom Price.
The Bucket List, we all perhaps have one but it is one that is constantly updating, ever shifting, perhaps never taken too seriously, there is always time to do anything and only the most daring of adventures are ever put off till it is too late to ever contemplate doing them. Bucket it all, the list should always be looked upon as a friend, the memory for others to be inspired by and no matter how bizarre the revelations’ that come with them, no matter the chaos that ensues, some things in life are just too important to never achieve.
Frog Stone’s four part comedy, Bucket, is a timely reminder that the list is not want you want to do but what you need to do, that in amongst the streaking at a major sporting event, deep sea diving with the whales, riding bareback on giraffes across the Serengeti, sometimes you also need to own a problem, to take charge of the neglect and the hurt you may have caused and the secrets you kept.
The addition of the effervescing and persistently bubbly, fine champagne like, Miriam Margoyles to the cast as the Mother with big secrets, unstoppable personality and a bucket list of regrets is inspired, a true actor of any age, who has set comedy alight for years, finally takes the small screen exactly where it should be taken, the gentle comedy with the anarchic undertone, the sense that just because life may be ending, does not mean it cannot be one filled with absolutes and personal revolution.
Frog Stone’s script is poised brilliantly between the aspirations of a woman dealing with the prospect of losing a mother who has been less than ideal parent and that of wanting to emerge from the passing with some sort of rekindled affection. In the same way that we hope we can always call upon our parents in times of desperation, in times of need, sometimes the call is always one way, sometimes the parent is too immersed in their own life to understand the need for familiar companionship. Ms. Stone’s four episode creation delves into that relationship with honour and sweet disordered affection, a case of the stranger that you know is often the one you love the most.
Bucket is superbly written and beautifully observed, a sense of comedy that does not require the viewer to be insulted or shocked to be considered hilarious, that comedy can come from the situation and does not need to be abusive to work. A smashing gentle comedy with a wonderful rebellious streak!
Ian D. Hall