Fossils at The Wardrobe Theatre

This Bucket Club production offers something a little different through its creative delivery of a sad story, while keeping an upbeat humour running throughout. With very few props and very little time (Fossils is only an hour long), the three actors manage to tell a story of deep emotional turmoil, which the audience are able to follow every step of the way.

Helen Vinten takes on the role of Vanessa, a successful scientist who is coaching two PhD students, Dominic, played by Adam Farrell, and Miles, played by Luke Murphy. The play centres around Vanessa’s past and Vinten takes us on a journey with her from denial to acceptance. I personally appreciated the challenge to the norm here with a nod to women in science.

Adam Farrell and Luke Murphy play a few different characters throughout the play, Farrell particularly comes into his own when playing Brian, a gruff old Welshman. I wasn’t too taken with his portrayal of Dominic, who I found to be a bit cheesy – perhaps intentional but it didn’t sit quite right with me. Although I think all the actors gave good performances, Murphy was the star of the show for me; in his role as Miles he was funny and believable but he also excelled in his other roles and as a musician.

Music is a key element of Fossils, with the three all showing wonderful talents in both acting and music throughout. Not only beautiful singing voices but the songs in the show were brilliantly captivating and at times added to the comedy. There was a mixture of modern electronic instruments, more traditional instruments such as a violin accordion, and voices used as percussion and sound effects. This all worked together in perfect harmony to create a stunning sound and atmosphere in the theatre. Technically this was a bit of a masterpiece, it was fast paced and complicated and I didn’t notice one mistake.

I will admit to not really knowing what to expect with this one, and when it started I was fairly convinced I wasn’t going to like it. However, it won me over entirely – if you get the chance to, you should definitely see it. I promise you will leave with a smile on your face.

Fossils plays at The Wardrobe Theatre until 7th October


Find out more about Bucket Club here


Image by Paul Blakemore, with thanks

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