Just over a month ago, an invite landed in my inbox to attend the London preview of An Act Of Kindness*. It was due to hit the Edinburgh Fringe a couple of weeks later, but due to being on holiday I was unable to make it. Not to worry though, as on Wednesday I found myself in Edinburgh and able to see it a month after I originally should of done!
Rascal Theatre is a new London based theatre company who have performed this show for crowds in both London and Edinburgh, with this show written by Helena Westerman. Not only has Westerman written the one act play, she also heads up the performance as Leila, a free-spirited 20 something stuck in a job she has no interest for. Alongside Robert Hayes, playing Martin, a young credit analyst with a family to help, the dynamic and chemistry in this play is on of a kind.
An Act Of Kindness is set solely at a London bus stop. Leila and Martin meet, and once every three weeks, their trust in each other grows. Seasons change and their friendship develops. We learn of jobs, hobbies, insecurities and pain, and we learn of life beyond the bus stop. And somehow, this is all told through comedy. It’s witty, there are plenty of jokes and puns, but nothing detracts from the tale.
Being a frequent bus user, this play is painfully true to life. Initially I try my hardest to ignore the other passengers as the bus stop without seeming rude, but eventually you find yourself spilling more and more of your personal life to these people you see for a couple of minutes a day. But it’s deeper than that. It’s not so superficial as ‘you have to use the bus to get this’. This play with warm the cockles of everyones’ hearts. Of course there’s heartbreak, but there’s a sweetness that leaves a wonderful taste. An Act Of Kindness is thoughtful, it’s uplifting, and all in all, it’s very British.
This writing debut is something special, and you only have until Monday 28th August to get yourself down to C-Cubed to watch this wonderful little show.