New York | 1h 5m | Already closed


From 16 critic and 41 member reviews
Members say: Quirky, Clever, Entertaining, Refreshing, Confusing

About the show

Bucket Club presents the story of a scientist who confronts the mythical and the monstrous to come to terms with the disappearance of her father. Part of 59E59's annual Brits Off Broadway festival. More…

Vanessa's life is science. Fact based, evidence led, no nonsense, no monsters. But when a photograph surfaces showing something in Loch Ness, she embarks on a very personal research project. Told by three performers with live electronic sound design, music, and vocal harmonies, 'Fossils' is a modern exploration of some timeless questions.


"A compelling hour of theatrical storytelling that is as fully dramatic, mysterious, and tender as you could ever hope to see...Ingeniously directed by Nel Crouch...The lovingly told story is a beautiful blend of brains and heart. Without much more than some simple plastic toy dinosaurs, the three very talented cast members bring everything to commanding life for a marvelous hour of theater." Full Review


"This is a show like no other. It has an intriguing plot that is conveyed with clever staging and ingenious storytelling devices. Performed in an intimate theatre space, it mesmerizes the audience from the first minute to the last...The cast is ideal in their roles...Special touches make this show pop...The musical effects with live electronic sound help to bring the mood of the show to life...A truly fascinating show. You will be thinking about it long after the curtain call." Full Review

Theatre is Easy

"An enthralling, one-of-a-kind production...The performers all have terrific chemistry, playing off one another with ease, and imbuing humor into each line and gesture...There are loads of clever storytelling devices and jokes that build upon the show's themes, making this the sort of the show you would probably have to see twice in order to catch everything...All of this makes 'Fossils' the sort of innovative, knock-you-off-your-seat show you hope to chance upon." Full Review

Theatre's Leiter Side

“Although 'Fossils' doesn't seem to have been created as devised theatre, it uses similar directorial touches whereby minimalist techniques using found objects help create a large world on a small budget…There's nothing especially new in this kind of staging but it has a certain charm…Vinten, Farrell, and Ridley succeed in keeping us involved in Crouch's slight, quirky piece, their occasional infusions of dry humor and music leavening the atmosphere.” Full Review

The New York Times

“Narratively slight and at least a little nutty, this piece is deft in form and nifty in presentation…The production tantalizes with, rather than delivers on, its theme…It ends at least a scene too soon…Under Nel Crouch’s direction, these three performers act, score and narrate with scientific precision and obvious warmth. It’s very likely that you don’t believe in the Loch Ness monster and you may not believe in ‘Fossils.’ But you should have faith in these actors.” Full Review

Lighting & Sound America

“A tight, cohesive ensemble…It's all very clever, but, as ‘Fossils’ goes on, it's hard to escape the feeling that the members of the company are more interested in their storytelling method than in the story they have to tell. This seems especially so in the last fifteen minutes or so, which, frankly, are hard to follow...Thus, a piece that begins on an engaging note gradually loses interest…The work of some very talented young people who need to hone their narrative skills.” Full Review

Off Off Online

“One of the great virtues of devised work is company chemistry, and Vinten, Farrell, and Murphy have it in spades...They clearly relish the work and take pleasure in one another’s presence…The music is just about perfect…If only there were a more interesting story to hang it all on. Crouch keeps things moving at a nice clip, and the play demonstrates a thorough understanding of academic life (despite its hackneyed character types), but the play putters to an unsatisfying non-ending.” Full Review


“Though the printed script, such as it is, is credited to Nel Crouch, she is listed in the program as only the director, and ‘Fossils’ is rather ‘by’ Bucket Club, described as an ‘associate company.’ Such confusion is perpetrated throughout the production: it's hard to say if, in the end of this extremely low-tech presentation, Vanessa has actually encountered the Monster—and/or her father—or not. ‘Fossils’ is apparently more about what doesn't happen than what does.” Full Review

Fest (UK)

for a previous production "This could be a far clumsier experiment if it weren't for the confident realism projected by all three actors, the convincing laboratory setting and scientifically bogus 'equipment' they handle, but most of all for the perfected underscore of sound and original music devised by cast members...Technically faultless, this is an object lesson in how to take a simple character-driven story and by sheer stagecraft elevate it to another level of experience." Full Review

The List

for a previous production "The excellent three-strong cast multi-task superbly between roles...But it's director Nel Crouch and designer Rebecca Wood's inventive, lo-fi staging that really steals the show, using the simplest of means to create a magical, melancholy world of loss and remembrance...'Fossils's' enigmatic closing scenes might feel rather abrupt, but it's a captivating, poignant reflection on love, longing and the importance of mystery in all our lives." Full Review

A Younger Theatre

for a previous production "What Bucket Club does so well is not just tell a story but truly immerse you in it...It’s not just these quirky bits that delight; it’s the actors themselves interacting with them...Designer Wood has brought her ingenuity and director Crouch has expertly led this team to what is a show of the highest quality. Perhaps I feel the story isn’t quite as magical as 'Lorraine and Alan' and its tale of Selkies but songs such as 'Spare Me Please' pull this show into a realm of its own." Full Review

Broadway Baby

for a previous production "An intriguing play...The music in its own right is exceptionally good, although at times distracting from the main narrative...The style of the production is excellent, moving from stylized movement and abstract representation to moving and sincere interactions between characters...At times the writing felt a little stilted and cliched, and perhaps could benefit from some editing, but all in all, 'Fossils' is a fantastically inventive piece of theatre with a charming story." Full Review


for a previous production "Tonally confusing, but stylistically, the production’s own idiosyncrasies assemble something that is consistently arresting, and at times quite beautiful...'Fossils' is at its strongest during its more musical segments, carefully positioned and expertly composed as they are. The performers are capable enough, but the characters are awfully thinly drawn and the play ends prematurely. Worth a watch for the music alone however, 'Fossils' only just misses out on a four-star rating." Full Review

The Stage (UK)

for a previous production "Helen Vinten captures the scientist's theoretical and personal struggles, generously supported by Adam Farrell and David Ridley as everyone else, and the playwright directs with clever touches that keep alive the tension between serious science and science-as-play...The play moves a little too quickly once the action shifts to Scotland...But it ends, quite deliberately, without resolving any of the personal or professional issues it raises." Full Review

Edinburgh Guide

for a previous production "It’s a good-looking production with fittingly scientific overtones–all Perspex boxes and flashing lights, and the layered soundtrack of voices, Theremin-like and looped noises is a triumph. The use of lame humor and toy dinosaurs, whilst injecting somewhat nerdy charm, falls a little flat and some of the plot lines are insufficiently chased down. A well-crafted and enjoyable scientific jaunt, but not quite engaging enough to be found a pleasure-isuarus." Full Review

Three Weeks Edinburgh

for a previous production "Simplistic set and straightforward narrative...Its strength lies with the cast, three extremely strong naturalistic actors who multi-role, play violin, and produce all the live electronic sounds...However, on the whole the story unfortunately and surprisingly did not emotionally affect me, nor interest me. I actually left feeling slightly disappointed. ‘Fossils’ is enjoyable, but not memorable." Full Review

Delightful, Clever, Funny, Great staging, Fantastic music

See it if imaginative theatrical production amuses you. This piece uses a delightfully creative approach to story telling. And the music is marvelous

Don't see it if you have a narrow world view which does not accept the compression of time and experice necessary for theatrical performance.

Great staging, Gripping, Unique, Exciting, Scrappy

See it if you like scrappy, inventive productions of intimate plays that make stage magic out of a handful of props and cool onstage music-making.

Don't see it if you only care for the spectacle of super high production value. This is refreshingly theatrical and creative and affecting.

Clever, Entertaining, Refreshing, Quirky, Great music

See it if you enjoy unique shows which utilize unusual audio and visual techniques, interesting story, quirky characters; a charming production.

Don't see it if you only like "normal" plays, dislike anything unusual and unique on the stage; prefer musicals and big production shows. This isn't that.

Also Engaging characters, beautiful music, clever use of props, in a small ... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Clever, Ambitious, Quirky

See it if you like a quick story that grows - and you find dry British Humor funny. and there is weird music, which I loved.

Don't see it if you're looking for a normal play. This is a quick and odd 65 minute, almost experimental piece.

Edgy, Quirky, Confusing, Great acting, Brilliant tech and use of props

See it if You enjoy very creative unusual shows with tech aspects being a significant part of the story. You enjoy scientific themes and imagery.

Don't see it if You are looking for an evening of theatre which allows you to sit back and just watch. This requires that you pay close attention throughout

Delightful, Refreshing, Funny

See it if a unique, touching story with some fun interspersed

Don't see it if only an hour long; not your usual linear play.

Clever, Delightful, Refreshing

See it if you like theatrical inventiveness, want to see a young company who will clearly go on to great things

Don't see it if you're turned off by toy theater or electronic music

Clever, Disappointing, Funny, Quirky, Great staging

See it if You don't mind a little bit of a bland story line but want to see some great staging/sound work. If love dinosaurs or lived across the pond

Don't see it if You want a full on musical or quirky shows aren't your thing.

Quirky, Entertaining, Funny, Unusual

See it if You like looping sound effects behind a story of a daughter searching for a father caught up in cryptozoology.

Don't see it if You'd rather have a traditional story that lasts more than 65 minutes.

Good sound design, Refreshing, Indulgent, Intelligent

See it if You enjoy non-traditional staging, unusual sound design and clever plot presentation. The story was a bit thin, but enjoyable nonetheless.

Don't see it if You don't like plays with toys as props used to further the storyline, or non-standard staging and music.

Wonderful ensemble rapport, Curious, Original, Intriguing sound design

See it if Intricate blending of minimal sets, psychological study of woman in search of missing pieces, music & sound inventions & window into aca...

Don't see it if ...demic life plus Loch Ness monster, leaves little time for character development & satisfying resolution. Great talent needs stronger book

Ambitious, Disappointing, Quirky, Slow

See it if You’re interested in experimental theater.

Don't see it if You like traditional theater.

Confusing, Disappointing, Quirky, Slow, Eh!!!!

See it if Hard to follow Too many props Experimental

Don't see it if Do not recommend

Confusing, Disappointing, Excruciating

See it if you want to see weird original music incorporated into a play

Don't see it if you want something traditional. This play is way out there

Also I am sick and tired of plays that try to be "cute". Some DJ wrote some... Read more Read less

Clever, Intelligent, Edgy, Quirky, Slow

See it if If you like experimental theatre with a basic set that isn't too far out there to enjoy. Cool and unique sounds/score.

Don't see it if If you can't stand plots dealing with unresolved parental issues or anything that's the least bit "sciency."

Also Overall we enjoyed the play. It dragged a tad in spots, but not enough... Read more Read less

Clever, Exquisite, Great acting, Masterful, Enchanting

See it if You want to see an original show with unbelievable live music and solid acting.

Don't see it if You don't like theatre or music.

During previews
Absorbing, Singular, Inventive, Wacky, Deeply affecting

See it if you're up for something weird and wonderful, and understand that theater magic doesn't require big fancy effects (that's why it's magic).

Don't see it if you tend to prefer more conventional shows to troupe-devised pieces with multimodal storytelling and performers wearing many, many hats.

During previews
Absorbing, Quirky, Imaginitive, Resonant, Magical

See it if you're open to a uniquely told story of a scientist trying to solve the mystery of her father's disappearance. It's funny, and quite lovely.

Don't see it if you prefer more traditional storytelling/staging/set, don't like Fringe shows or aren't up for something a little weird and different.

Also Part of 59E59 Theaters' Brits Off Broadway Festival. It's short (65 mi... Read more Read less

During previews
Clever, Entertaining, Great acting, Inventive, Refreshing

See it if you want to be fascinated by creative yet simple stage sound effects that enhance the theater experience, apart from cast's british accents.

Don't see it if you like fancy stage, as you'll only see plastic toys & dinosaurs as props & characters... but if you get past that, the cast is remarkable!

Also for the reg. ticket price, you get a great deal for a unique theater e... Read more Read less

During previews
Enchanting, Resonant, Clever

See it if a charming intimate piece of a woman's remembrance of her lost father, with a haunting live musical soundscape, very inventive

Don't see it if you want a straightforward narrative play, it's music but not a musical

During previews
Clever, Entertaining, Quirky, Great staging, Great acting

See it if You want a creative, entertaining way of storytelling w/interesting sound design & great use of props. You want a unique theatre experience.

Don't see it if You don't like experimental theatre. You prefer more traditional staging and storytelling.

During previews
Clever, Entertaining, Quirky

See it if Interesting. Kind of low-tech The Encounter. Science vs. Myth & other themes.

Don't see it if Dont go if you need a linear plot.

During previews
Great staging, Quirky, Enchanting

See it if you think you would enjoy an offbeat comedy about a young scientist's search for her father. Clever staging, and some truly lovely music.

Don't see it if you are expecting a big musical production. Storyline is a bit thin even for the short runtime.

During previews
Clever, Intelligent, Quirky, Edgy

See it if you enjoy short, creative, quirky one act plays. This was originally performed at the Edinburgh Fringe and it is very much in that tradition

Don't see it if you prefer fully costumed, fully staged shows with real sets. You like "big" productions, you dislike off-kilter, quirky shows.

During previews
Entertaining, Ambitious, Great acting, Intelligent, Quirky

See it if you enjoy stories about how parents influence who you are as an adult. And quirky British humor.

Don't see it if you are looking for a complex storyline.

Cast & Creatives (10)