Going Underground

In this thought-provoking, inventive and touching piece of new writing, we hear about the lives of ten individuals, linked only by their mode of transportation. Going Underground, through a series of dramatic techniques, allows us to glance at life below the streets of London, where 4.8 million passenger journeys take place per day. London can seem the the most impersonal place in the world, specifically post-midnight, and this troupe of young actors succeed in personalising the effect that life in the capital can have on a variety of different people.

A quirky, gritty and engaging piece of theatre which displayed the London Underground at its best and worst.

The stage is lit up as the audience enters the theatre, with the only set being two Underground-style seats. The actors, scattered among the audience, stand up one at a time on their phones, having conversations which have nothing to do with each other. These are the original strands of a tapestry which are woven together as the show continues and these actors communicate only while sitting next to each other on the tube.

We see people from all walks of life: a mother struggling to make ends meet, a young woman having a dating crisis and a boy who is dressed as a chicken. The audience are also privy to the thoughts of the characters and many of their monologues are particularly poignant, specifically those of Lea Marks, who plays Lucy, and Catalina Prior, whose character is Anna. However, the sheer number of actors onstage means that, at times, it can be frustrating to know so little about their lives. This is where we see the inexperience of the actors who fail to stay in character at all times.

The statistics used to break up the scenes had a grounding effect on this piece, allowing the audience to see the reality of each situation. Though the characters themselves are fictional, it was easy to imagine them as real, one of the largest success of this piece. That said, the scenes lacked fluidity, with actors shuffling on and off stage and dropping lines at times. There was also an issue with diction; some dialogue was lost under the sound effects which mimicked the tube.

Despite these drawbacks, this was a quirky, gritty and engaging piece of theatre which displayed the London Underground at its best and worst. The cast and crew should be proud of what they created and I’m sure that a number of the young actors have bright futures ahead of them. 

Reviews by Angela O'Callaghan

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Performances

Location

The Blurb

The Underground post-midnight, home to the noctambulant: the lonely, the weary, the weird. Anna’s having a dating crisis, Charlie’s grandad thinks he’s the milkman and Lucy isn’t going home anytime soon. And Adam is dressed as a chicken. Again. New writing with a twist of black humour, following the lives of Londoners on the edge.