Java Dance Theatre have somewhat sworn myself and the rest of the audience to silence after the triumph that is
Definitely ignore the stranger danger advice you were told as a child and just join in with the ridiculous, giddy fun that’s waiting for you
The basic premise is that you are driven around Edinburgh on a double decker bus, with some weird and wonderful visits from some of our fellow commuters - where you are definitely expected to get involved. The dancers on the bus create such vivid and distinctive characters that you know them intimately by the end of the performance, despite them saying little or nothing to you. You just need to join in the dance and they’ll take you on a mystery tour that’ll make you feel like a kid again, rediscovering our city and its inhabitants. For the purposes of Back of the Bus, definitely ignore the stranger danger advice you were told as a child and just join in with the ridiculous, giddy fun that’s waiting for you.
The choreography is incredibly accessible, opting to evoke characters and shine a light on how ridiculous people actually are rather than trying to propagate a specific idea or agenda and the dancers deserve the highest praise not just for their technique but also their ability to encourage the audience to play along with them. Furthermore the soundtrack is a joy to listen to, fittingly reminiscent of the film Amelie as Back of the Bus makes us look at the city from a completely different perspective just like Amelie did with Paris. Java Dance Theatre have dramatically altered what a dance show can be by making it site-specific, promenade and interactive whilst never getting stuck in its own head – I’d love to see how the piece could change (or not) as it moves from city to city. Either way, Back of the Bus is the epitome of what the Fringe stands for: a bonkers experiment that is also an absolute joy for the cast and audience. You’d be mad to miss it!