Strangers on a Bus

After a rocky ride, which included losing the director and two of the cast, our Sixties Group play Strangers on a Bus was back en route in April 2010.

Originally booked to be produced in February, the play, written and now directed by Neil Armstrong, opened for six free lunchtime performances at North Shields Library from Monday April 12 to Saturday April 17th at 12.30 daily.

Following this the play was performed at Segedunum, Wallsend at 12.30 pm on Monday 19th and Tuesday 20th April.

Strangers on a Bus is a 35 minute comedy set entirely on a public transport bus. The play evolved from Neil's programme of writing workshops with members of the erstwhile Sixties Group, a group of people aged sixty and over who created their own plays working with Cloud Nine practitioners.

Margaret Scragg, long-standing member of Cloud Nine's Sixties Group, explains the genesis of the play:

There's just no stopping Cloud Nine's Sixties Group riding on the success of their latest play, 'Bingo!' This time the group have joined forces with playwright Neil Armstrong.

As usual, ideas for this new play, Strangers on a Bus, evolved from a bunch of senior citizens sitting around a table sharing their ideas with the writer on what would be a good theme for the play.

We agreed the play should grip our audience in the first few minutes and have a set of interesting and complex characters that we wanted to travel on our bus: the driver (a surly man of a few words), a troubled woman who appears to be heavily pregnant, a rather sleepy Vicar, and one very posh, excitable woman who, in a senior moment, decided to take a bus ride. There's a man of mystery, a local tribute singer and - what do you know - an unemployed fortune teller.

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