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Posts Tagged ‘Jim Russell’

You can always rely on the Greenwich & Docklands International Festival, devoted to (mostly free) outdoor performance, for something different, and this year it was an Australian play on a bus without air-con driving around Docklands on the hottest day of the year!

When we board at Beckton Park, there’s a passenger already on the bus. Just before we leave, another takes the final seat next to him. He spends much of the journey on the phone to business colleagues or his eight-year-old son. The woman next to him makes conversation in between. We’re eves-dropping on an encounter between two strangers on a bus, with an atmospheric soundtrack, and half-way through our journey I was wondering where this was going.

We’d encountered three other characters along the way, on the roadside, one boarding briefly to deliver something to the driver, but couldn’t see the connection. Then the woman makes it clear this is no chance encounter, she’s planned it, and her plan continues when we reach a wasteland where two of the other characters reappear and she takes him off the bus. This final, very cinematic scene is played out thrillingly on this wasteland with a backdrop of derelict buildings in front of Docklands skyscrapers, as our bus circles them.

The narrative of Jessica Wilson’s story is clever, with a serious message at its core, and Jim Russell and Victoria Moseley create believable characters. A tour of Docklands – part new city, part building site – is a bonus. I could have done without the sweltering heat, or with some air-con, but I’m used to suffering for my art, and it was worth it.

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