Wednesday, 12 November 2014

'The Bus' Above The Stag Theatre ***

Coming out as either a gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender to your family and friends is most definitely one of the toughest experiences one has to go through; principally when you're a teenager. London’s only LGBT theatre, the Above The Stag Theatre's current production of James Lantz’s, ‘The Bus’ was immeasurably hard-hitting and poignant. ‘The Bus’ is set within a small American town during the 1980s where two teenage boys, Ian and Jordan, who in a world where sexuality cannot be acknowledged decide to show their affections to one another on an old and dilapidated church bus that’s situated in the grounds of a petrol garage. We grasp that their passion radiates categorically tenderly when they cuddle and kiss, on the other hand, due to Ian's religious upbringing, their coupling needs to remain concealed from the boy’s parents. Thankfully, it appears that Ian's mother, Sarah does not know that her son is gay, and in a relationship with a boy, so Ian presumes that he is in the clear, for the time being. Nonetheless, on one particular evening when Ian and Jordan are sharing an intimate moment, they hear that Ian's father, Harry the proprietor of the petrol station is endeavouring to see what one of the problems there are with the rusty bus, and this causes the two teenage boys to panic as they think that they will be found out. Luckily enough their presence is unnoticed, additionally their relationship is kept immensely quiet at school, and Ian even expresses that Jordan shouldn't communicate with him during this time. Progressively, Ian grows frustrated by the churches lack of advancement, of course due to the acceptance of the gay community, so any wreaks revenge by driving the bus into the church, and setting it ablaze. Regrettably, Ian's parents, and Jordan believe he is deceased, however this is untrue, and once Harry realises he is alive, he makes it clear that Ian is not wanted in his life, and logically Ian is increasingly upset. Lantz’s narrative is well-established, as we observe the confidentiality of a relationship of two teenage boys, who are coming to terms with their sexual preference, and the acceptance is enormously difficult to comprehend during the time period. One found the performances by the company of ‘The Bus’ were vastly emotional, and portrayed with excellent care and ease. William Ross-Fawcett is splendid as the fearful, Ian; in particularly when we see his anxiety increase when his father is checking the bus when he and Jordan are having one of their adoring instances. Kane John Scott is vivid as Ian's lover, Jordan; especially when we see his cheekiness exude during the scenes at the school, and how he doesn't appear too bothered if they get caught out by anyone, as he's quite pleased with his sexuality. Robert McWhir’s direction is spectacular as his comprehensive understanding of the subject feels surely polished, and the depth of the emotional aspects of the performance were thought of with serious intent and purpose. David Shield’s design is acceptable, but one found it problematic to understand as to where the action is taking place, and the scene changes were underdeveloped. However, the textures within the signage were quite appealing. Overall, one found the experience of ‘The Bus’ to be extremely enjoyable, and an amazing representation of LGBT theatre. A definite ticket purchased here I think.  

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