Review: Love Letters to the Public Transport System

With her ode to public transport, Liverpudlian Molly Taylor celebrates the random kindness of strangers with sincerity over sentimentality.

Though Australians aren’t as reliant on public transport as the Brits, most of us do travel on trams, trains and buses to get us to places of necessity and play. With her one-woman show, Taylor explores the personalities and chance encounters found on vehicles usually viewed as mere people transporters rather than locations for life’s important scenes.

Facing the audience on a two-person seat (which screams public transport with the fabric’s faded smudge of dull colours) Taylor shares the heartbreak of a lost love with powerfully simple and sharp observations that resonate for anyone who’s been brutally dumped.

Wounded, she travels from Glasgow to London for freelance work and a random table at a random pub on a random Friday night leads to a new romance. In the glow of this new love, Taylor wants to track down the bus and train drivers that made this possible, as this good fortune was made possible due to luck, buses, tubes and trains.

This personal tale is joined by two others, as Taylor tells the story of Margaret, who meets her fiancée on a bus, and Tam, who wants to track down an artistic peer who is an inspiration. The stories aren’t connected but collectively celebrate everyday heroes or everyday situations. This may sound ridiculously contrived but Taylor’s heartfelt stories are told with an earnest honesty that is hard to be cynical about.

Combine this with an engaging stage personality and Taylor manages to make a work ostensibly about generosity and randomness rise above Hallmark sentimentality to be quite moving.

Love Letters to the Public Transport System continues at Holden St Theatres’ The Studio until Thursday, March 1.

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