Having ridden You Me Bum Bum Train twice before, and reviewed the show on both occasions, trying my best not to give anything away, I am demurring from a substantive third review – after all , there are only so many ways to skip around the same subject whilst attempting not to reveal too much. I was actually the victim of good karma in this for once: I’d initially bought two pairs of tickets the very second they were released on the Barbican website with the intention of allowing friends who had not experienced the show before to have a go. As it was, the enforced rescheduling of one of the pairs meant that I had to give those away to other people, but in the midst of all the discussing and transactions, I was offered someone else’s spare ticket at the last minute, and so off I went to Stratford, unable to resist one more time.
And once again I loved it. It pushed and challenged me, and thrilled and excited me in equal measure – again I did something I never thought I’d ever do and such a feeling is wonderful to experience, especially in the heady rush that is the speedy journey on the train. Familiarity with the concept does dull some of its effect though, even just knowing the kind of thing to expect means that one can prepare a little for it which robs some of the spontaneity that made the first time so special. What replaces the sense of fear, for me at least, is a more relaxed attitude that means you can play with the format and push the boundaries a little – I was determined to make at least two sets of performers corpse, as I did last time, and I managed it 😉
So, this really will be the last time I ride the train. I don’t think it will ever change enough to really make doing it again truly worthwhile despite it being genius amounts of fun, and I’ve gotten more pleasure from chatting to the people who have done it for the first time, both my friends and the people who I chatted to afterwards. It’s all about getting in there as quickly as you can with the tickets though, so keep your eyes peeled and I’ll let you know as soon as I do about any future dates.
2 thoughts on “Review: You Me Bum Bum Train 2012”
Good to hear that you've decided to selflessly offer the experience to others rather than just go on the ride yourself. You're quite right that the first experience has the most impact. I literally couldn't sleep the night after my ride, however I know this wouldn't ever be the same if I went through on subsequent shows.
Kudos also for giving some of the cast a rark up. IMHO, it should be challenging for both sides – audience and performers.
Since I've now been a cast member in the current Stratford incarnation it is interesting (to us) how different types of people participate, and it seems clear that those who get the best experience are those who approach it with a completely open mind, and don't try to second guess the situations or wind up the performers.
In fact, from a representative sample, I'd say the ones who try too hard to be clever or cool and thereby end up not having such a great night are first the actors, then the gays, and worst of all the gay actors 🙂