Busking It

Danusia Samal
Coin Drop in association with HighTide and Shoreditch Town Hall
Pleasance Courtyard

Busking It is the almost entirely true story of Danusia Samal’s ten years of busking on the London Underground.

Complete with TFL busking spot, lanyard and overhead displays, it’s a cosy set-up and makes for an intimate performance.

Recounting her experiences through storytelling and song, it’s a gentle meander through the rabbit warren of stations, the highs and lows of singing in a space where most people tend to ignore you and her own reflections on life. The tone confessional, the music soulful, Samal’s voice soars in the tiny space, a real treat.

Accompanied by Joe Archer and Adam Cross, the music punctuates the plot, but sometimes unnecessarily. “Change has got to come” she invites the audience to chant in a section that seems separated from the rest of the relaxed narrative. It’s her favourite song and a motif which is repeated throughout but feels disjointed in a show with little interaction.

Slow and winding, she talks of her "sort of Dad" and her girlfriend (cue the other piece of audience interaction) for whom she’s written a song. There’s also light relief in the character of Experience who says she suffers from amnesia and takes the mic.

Musically, this is a strong piece of theatre but the slow pace and occasionally clunky writing unfortunately dull some of the charm.

Reviewer: Amy Yorston

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