Set on an island best known for its adorable marsupial inhabitants, Bus Boy is a sweet play about two very different people becoming friends. Jerry is on a holiday to Rottness Island with her partner. She meets Bus Boy, a 19 year old bus savant, who lives on Rottness and dreams of becoming a bus driver.
Bus Boy is a great two-hander with excellent performers.
Bus Boy is a well written piece and the characters are distinct individuals. However, Bus Boy’s constant wearing of a helmet could be seen as ableist. Jerry’s character treads the line of cliché well and, while Jerry has issues, there is a kindness and an intention to help. The production has a nice internal rhythm, never dragging or being too long. The imagery painted by the characters on stage meant props were never missed. It allowed them to transition quickly from scene to scene, always keeping the audience interested.
Lighting and sound in this production has to be mentioned. With so little they did so much to keep the attention and the wide stage was well utilised by the actors. Their movement around it never felt over-directed.
The chemistry between Bus Boy, played by Sean Bustavino, and Jerry, played by the writer Izzy McDonald, is fantastic. The fast friendship between them makes sense with these two in their roles, which otherwise could have seemed too convenient. Bustavino is endearing and innocent as Bus Boy. McDonald exudes a kindness and charm that was lovely to watch, however, she didn’t realise the full potential of her own writing. McDonald was natural in her role but it felt like she didn’t realise what she had written for herself and decided to take the text more literally. Both performances were excellent when they were interacting with one another, but when they were addressing the audience their connection felt weaker.
All in all, Bus Boy is a great two-hander with excellent performers. Definitely worth watching.