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Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2014 Explore the secret lives of the late night travellers, the baggage they bring on board
and the stories they leave behind on the night bus - a vehicle, a club,
an office, a bedroom, a sanctuary, a hell-hole, a meeting place for strangers…
Dead of night in the wrong part of the city, waiting for the late-night, or indeed all-night, bus… this is Harold Pinter territory jauntily usurped by Linda Marlowe and Sarah-Louise Young in a sketch/cabaret drama of their own devising with director Russell Lucas.

I say drama because the presentation goes beyond a mere comedy routine in its fluid arrangement on a bare stage with six red chairs, its mood changes, light and darkness, and the complementary physical suppleness of Marlowe and Young, identically clad in plain black trousers and zipped up hoodies. They create a world of danger and sadness in their cast of chatterboxes, foul-mouthed teenagers, pregnant women fighting for the last seat, mother and daughter making it up, career girls on a night out, even an office worker coming alive as an after-hours drag queen in high heels.

This is the opposite of Cliff Richard - who's innocently referenced in the show - going on a summer holiday on that cheery double-decker. It's a similar process of escape, but into darker, more private areas where the night bus becomes a place of refuge, a point of contact, a sanctuary as well as a hell-hole.

Marlowe skims across her familiar expressive range, always so vivid and arresting, while Young - perhaps best known in Edinburgh for Julie Madly Deeply and Cabaret Whore - proves herself an actor of genuine versatility and skill.


devised and written by
The Company
starring Linda Marlowe and
Sarah-Louise Young

directed by Russell Lucas
There's after dark, and there’s after, after dark – and that, dear passengers, is the realm of the night bus. Anything can happen and everything does happen in this cleverly imagined, skillfully realised play from Linda Marlowe and Sarah-Louise Young.

Expectant mums, junkies, teenage sex pests, transvestites, and abandoned wives all ride the night bus. Moving with lightning speed, adopting a range of accents and ages, and making clever use of just a few well chosen props, these two talented actresses spin through a high energy hour of theatre that’s by turns harrowing and hilarious.

All the world’s on this stage, from the thief who’s angry that the handbags he steals contain the same damn books, to the immigrant bus driver who pretends she helms a sanctuary to hide the fact that she believes it an asylum – and her fear that she herself is going mad. Meet the brace of pregnant women fighting ever so politely – and then oh so savagely – over the last seat, and a lady whose cut-glass accent rivals Celia Johnson’s, recalling a blissful date with that special boy, which spirals into a memory of rape.

Kudos to a script that revels in the magic and possibilities of language, and to a team of beautifully matched actresses whose energy and versatility seemingly knows no bounds. Thanks to them, your heart will race as this bus picks up speed.