You Me Bum Bum Train is something quite special and quite different. An exhilarating participatory Created by artists Kate Bond and Morgan Lloyd in Brighton in 2004, the show/installation/experience has taken on different forms and different locations, developing each time. This particular incarnation has been supported by the Oxford Samuel Beckett Theatre Trust award which they won last year and having been commissioned by the Barbican, they’ve set up shop at the old London Electricity Board building in Bethnal Green.
Having looked at a few of the reviews now that I’ve had my experience, it is a little disappointing to see how many of them start “I’ve been sworn to secrecy about what happened to me, but I can tell I did do this and it involved that...”, so much of the pleasure comes from having absolutely no idea whatsoever lies in store and so I’d avoid reading anything at all about the show beforehand to let the experience hit you full on and unspoiled. The only thing I will say is that I did at least two things which I never thought I’d ever get to do, not quite lifelong ambitions but I’m tickled pink that I have done them nonetheless.
It is clear that much love and effort has gone into this: over 100 people helped to create it, 200 people, most of them volunteers, take part in it all to give you, for you are the only audience member in your journey, an unforgettable and unique experience. I am still chuckling at some of the things I ended up doing and ultimately You Me Bum Bum Train takes you through a massive range of emotions, ending with a breathless sense of exhilaration and in my case, a real sense of achievement. Go with an open mind and be prepared to throw yourself headlong into the action and remember, mum’s the word!
Running time: 40 minutes
Booking until 24th July
Note: you’re advised to wear trousers and flat shoes and be aware of the address, it’s not actually at the Barbican itself. Special credit has to go to the Barbican’s front-of-house team of 3, transplanted to this unfamiliar building and working with a large number of people in a steady flow throughout the evening, but honest, friendly and chatty with everyone and in one case, nicely reassuring as nerves threatened to overtake someone (who may or may not have been me!)