Ed Eales-White and Jon Pointing. Those are the names of the men who form brand new sketch act Bucket. They ooze competence and are engaging performers, but little else can be said about them. With one playing the part of an uptight misanthrope while the other trades in irritating, naïve exuberance, each conforms to their assigned comedy archetype so rigidly that any sense of genuine personality is masked. So too is whatever chemistry might exist between the duo.
This is especially unfortunate because the pared-down nature of their act frequently lends itself to petty bickering. In more relaxed hands, these moments of conflict would serve as opportunities in which to break character and toy with the show's structure. Instead, we are presented with anarchic interludes almost disconcerting in their stilted formality.
It's not without reason that the pair are so confident in the strength of their material itself, for the scenarios they've come up with are mostly memorable. From an opening skit in which two aggressively sex-obsessed medieval army leaders prepare for battle, to several involving an eccentric green grocer, Eales-White and Pointing prove themselves capable of distinctive, off-the-wall writing. The trouble is they haven't yet worked out the personas best capable of translating it to the stage. As such, there's little here to elevate this new act above their competition in an already overcrowded market place.