An odd and quirky little show tells the story of Scarlet, a busker on London’s Underground. Entirely self-narrated, Scarlet’s story is told through a mixture of spoken word and song, occasionally interspersed by other characters flitting through her life to help illustrate her point. The transient nature of Scarlet’s existence makes an unusual subject for a play, as she is the sort of person nobody ever thinks twice about, but whether it’s off any interest to individual is another story altogether.
The plot is supposed to lead up to Scarlet’s opportunity to play on ‘Busker Idol’, but this is misleading, as this goal is pretty much thrown in with the rest of Scarlet’s varied existence, rather being a main focus, and dealt with too quickly. As a result this is basically just a monologue charting the life of a busker, which may not appeal to all tastes.
The overall feel of the show is one of haste. The songs are likeable but badly choreographed and not very well projected. The storyline is often stilted, as we hop from one experience to the next without pause, and the play almost seems unsure of itself, making it difficult to be interested in Scarlet or her busking life.
That said, Scarlet is a loveable character, played with the kind of idiosyncrasies and eccentricities that are endearing rather than weird or annoying, and she lifts the show from the pit of mediocrity to which it otherwise would surely have descended.
If you can stand to be slightly bewildered and to wonder more than once what is actually interesting about busking, and merely allow yourself to give in to Scarlet’s perky, bubbly personality, you’ll have fun.