Busking It

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

Amy Yorston