Linda Marlowe and Sarah-Louise Young examine the life of a night bus at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe
This article is from 2014.
Taking the world of late-night transit as their petri dish of humankind, Linda Marlowe and Sarah-Louise Young examine the ragtag lot who take a London bus on any given night through a series of vignettes, using a minimal set and only a handful of props. As frequent transit users will well know, public transportation – and the night bus in particular – holds all manner of anthropological delights.
Unfortunately in Night Bus, the truly bizarre and inspiring that often comes along with bus travel is traded in favour of obvious scenarios and stock characters (the horny teenager, the low-class pickpocket, the talkative gran), never managing to hit the profound ‘we’ve all got a story’ note being reached for.
Though the writing proves a stumbling block, Marlowe and Young are both clearly capable actors, with each assuredly taking on half a dozen characters – including the classy 74 year old Marlowe as a dickish 14 year old boy. Though likely down to cast limitations, it’s the lack of interaction between characters that proves the biggest disappointment.
Public transportation provides not only a cross-section of contemporary urban life, but an intersection that makes for moments that are explosive, unexpected, poignant, and so on and so forth. For the most part, the soliloquizing characters in Night Bus appear to exist in isolation, making the night bus seem a very dull place to be indeed.
Pleasance, 556 6550, until 25 Aug, 1pm, £8.50–£11 (£7.50–£10).