“I didn’t want it to just come across as millennial’s whining” were the first words out of Bost-Uni Plues‘ creator Grace Gallagher’s mouth in the Q and A session after the show. Well, it most certainly did not. Ugly Bucket Theatre Company took us on a journey last night, familiar to millions of millennials to be exact. The company, comprising of Grace Gallagher, Carl Fowler and Angelina Cliff, explored the world of elation, anticipation, depression and loneliness after you’re tossed out of the British education system, all without actually saying a word themselves. Bost-Uni Plues was created using interviews from graduates about their experiences in and post, higher education. Using sound bites from the interviews (and some crazy techno), a story was told by three clowns on stage about the ups and downs of university life and beyond. Honesty is often hard to replicate in theatre but Bost-Uni Plues was every bit as honest as a drunken conversation with your best friend after a night out. It really hit deep at times and made us question whether we are doing enough to look after each other through life’s trials and tribulations. This is not to say the piece was downhearted, quite the opposite in fact. The reason it rang so true is due to the energy and comic timing of all the performers involved, the best example being ‘September’ quite literally hitting you in the face with a hammer, repeatedly.
A nod certainly needs to be given to the amazing sound design that, unknowingly until the end, was all done on free software with free samples, and a bigger nod to the people who were interviewed for opening up so unreservedly, as without that, the show would not exist. Credit to you for being honest on some extremely challenging subjects. Ugly Bucket Theatre have touched on a subject that is often wrongly categorised as ‘whiny millennials’. However, they managed to break down that first stigmatised boundary. We’d like to thank you for taking risks, for being brave and for doing what it is that you believed in. It’s the first time in a very long time we’ve seen such passion and love from performers leaving a stage, you clearly left everything you had on the boards last night. The show rang true with all who watched it, whether they be current students, recent graduates, tutors, parents, the lot. It was fast, it was physical, it was funny and it hit you right in the gut, just when you had to, everything a good piece of theatre should do. Tick, tick, tick. You encouraged us to talk to each other about how we feel and how we can help one another through these hard times we face as young adults in a difficult, unsettling and confusing world. We are sure that this is not the last you will see of this show and we’d like to say thank you for taking that first step.