The playwright spoke to LLLC’s Emma Clarendon Busking It which will play as part of HighTide Walthamstow from the 21st to the 23rd September.
Thank you so much for talking to me. Could you tell me a bit more about what Busking it is about? Busking It is a story inspired by the ten years I spent busking on the London Underground. It’s about what you learn when you stand still and listen to the city. It’s about how lonely London can be but also the hope that lies in human interactions. It’s about making change come – in little ways.
How did the idea for the play come about? Busking regularly, I met a lot of interesting people and learnt valuable lessons about performing and connection. I started writing these down and performed some of these pieces as sketches. Then back in 2017, while at the RSC, I approached the company and was granted development time to make the piece into a full show. I approached Adam Cross and Joe Archer about writing the music, and director Guy Jones and me worked together to develop a story. Since then, the four of us have worked our socks off to get the show on at Soho, Pleasance Edinburgh, HighTide festivals and Shoreditch Town Hall. The team has expanded to include a brilliant producer, designer, and lighting designer all passionate about making a show celebrating the magical ways music brings us together.
What do you hope that audiences will take away from the show? I hope they leave with an interesting insight into the life of a busker, and a feeling that there is a lot of hope in humanity despite the distressing age we live in. I also hope they leave humming some of the beautiful (and annoyingly catchy) music Adam and Joe (also known as Hugely Problematic) have written.
How are you feeling about Busking it being a part of HighTide? HighTide have programmed the work of some of my favourite writers so I’m pretty excited to be in their festival. There’s a great line-up in Walthamstow and as a local resident I am excited about performing in my neighbourhood.
What can audiences expect from the show? They can expect great music with soul and jazz vibes, to laugh, be moved, and hopefully have a new ‘essperience’.
By Emma Clarendon
Busking It will play as part of HighTide Walthamstow between the 21st-23rd September. Find out more here: https://www.hightide.org.uk/productions/busking-it-walthamstow