Cape Wrath (3 stars)

This article is from 2013

Cape Wrath

credit: Elliot Roberts,

Intimate and heartfelt show set on a minibus

‘It’s not compulsory but if you want a more authentic experience you’re welcome to buckle up’, says Alexander Kelly as 12 audience members clamber onboard a minibus outside St Stephen’s Church. The bus doesn’t move an inch in the next hour but nevertheless Kelly takes us on a (less literal) journey, telling the story of how he retraced his grandfather’s footsteps on a trip from the Midlands to the most north-westerly point of the UK mainland, Cape Wrath.

Produced by Sheffield theatre company Third Angel, Cape Wrath is in part a love letter to journey-making, in particular the sort of long haul bus rides across Britain that are filled with chatty bus drivers, fleeting stops at service stations and unexpected conversations with fellow passengers. It’s also a gentle look at the stories we tell our families. In following his grandfather’s footsteps Kelly finds that it couldn’t have happened quite as it was described to him, revealing that even those close to us have inner lives we may not know about.

Kelly aids his storytelling with a few nicely-judged moments of interactivity (we won’t give them away but chocolate is involved at one point). He’s an amiable and engaging host and the story is simply and honestly told. This is an intimate and heartfelt performance with a little sprinkling of nostalgia. It treasures the small joys of travelling and the memories we hold of those close to us who have passed away.

Overall it’s a little slight and at times has the air of a radio play about it, but it’s so packed with charm that the hour zips by, just as a bus journey with good company should do.

St Stephen’s, 558 3047, until 24 Aug (not 19), 2pm & 3.30pm, £11(£8).

Cape Wrath

  • 3 stars

An epic journey in a stationary minibus. Join 14 other passengers for a story of family, of fellow travellers, of whisky and chocolate, of the longest bus journey in Britain. Heartfelt, moving and compellingly intimate. After he retired, my granddad went on a trip from the Midlands up to Cape Wrath, the most…