Life is like a night bus – full of characters, adventure and drunk people

A new comedy, brimming with characters all on their tired way home after a boozy night out, runs at a new theatre this week and next week.
“N89” is named after the bus route running through south-east London.
It starts late on Friday night and into Saturday morning, when Kim falls asleep on a stranger’s shoulder.
This chance meeting is the start of something special. As the bus hurtles through Southwark, Elephant, Deptford and Lewisham, Kim (Molly Ward) and Daniel (Lanre Danmola) encounter the classic night bus characters we’ve all seen too many times before: the queasy drunkard, the aggressive nightclubber, the loud phone talker and the fried chicken clutcher. This is a very London kind of entertainment.
A series of funny and dramatic interactions with other passengers help Kim and Daniel learn a lot about each other. As they both come out of their shells – way more than they usually would with a stranger – they even learn new things about themselves: they might be on the same bus journey; but their life journeys are heading in very different directions.
Mark Daniels, from Bexley, who wrote it, said: “Buses are such interesting places. Everyone is going to different places, but everyone meets there. You see how people watch and judge each other and interact.
“Anything happens out of the ordinary everyone notices – and your senses are heightened. On a night bus, half of the characters are drunk, which should make this really funny.”
It is staged on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday of next week – until November 2 – at the three-month-old Matchstick Piehouse theatre.
Daniels said: “This show wouldn’t have been possible without Matchstick. They want to represent people from south-east London and they have been great. When I first came to them with the script it was only 20 minutes long. Lots of theatres would say it is not long enough, but they saw the potential and relevance to the local area.
“They gave me space for research and it is now a 60-minute long play, thanks to their patience.
“You hear the bus stops called out in the background – and you don’t often hear Welling or New Cross mentioned in theatre.”


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