Co-Directors:Neil Bettles and Gemma Fairlie
Reviewer: Craig Barber
All human life is here. The saying has been used countless times but it’s unlikely ever to have been applied to a bus stop. Asportrayed in Light The Fuses’ Full Stop though, it becomes an appropriate description.
A London bus stop has been transported into the middle of Henham Park and in the sun scorched heat of the festival it has been a popular shady resting place for weary festival goers. Its testament to designer Mika Handley’s attention to detail that the stop seems completely at home in the rolling parkland. Several times a day though the bus stop becomes a stage as we’re invited to view a day in the life of the bus stop.
We may not think about it when we are waiting for the bus, but we are contributing to a mosaic capturing the community the stop serves. While many see the pub, shop or doctors surgery as focal points of community activity, a bus stop captures a true cross section of society.
Light The Fuses have carefully crafted characters that are large enough to cross the open space to the audience but detailed enough without resorting to caricature. This part dance, part performance art, part drama sees a trio of performers switching swiftly from character to character as they populate the bus stop
Those characters are delightfully drawn, from the drunken revellers using the stop as crash pad, the overly competitive mothers with pushchair being turned into chariots, the carrier bag laden shopper, figures all too familiar to regular travellers.
Jonnie Riordan, Jessica Williams and Annie Saunders, under Neil Bettles and Gemma Fairlie’s direction, bring the piece to life with an infectious energy making the mundane into gripping entertainment. Its perfect material to engage a festival audience but there is real potential away from Latitude and appropriately given its public transport setting its easy to see this piece having success touring across the country.
Full Stop is the first offering from Light The Fuse but based on this outing they’re future offerings will be a ride worth waiting for.