Whether you are shoved up against someone's armpit or stuck next to a touchy-feely couple, there is nowhere quite like the tube for being up close and personal. Now Knocked for Six, a writing collective who met last year on the Royal Court's Unheard Voices programme, have turned their tube experiences into an evening of short plays entitled End of the Line: Tales on the Tube.
As part of the first London Festival Fringe, the plays will be shown for three nights from 23 August at the Roadtrip Bar in Old Street. The audience will sit as if on a tube, facing each other, with the plays – from sloaney girls talking about parties to an old lady hitting a flasher with a baguette and a monologue delivered by a tube mouse – taking place between them.
"All the sketches are slightly random snippets of situations that we've overheard or can imagine happening," says Sabrina Mahfouz, whose That Boy is part of the evening. "We introduce you to a world of characters you're never going to know fully but you get glimpses of intriguing lives and adventures. People act differently on a tube because they're so close to others and it makes everything funnier and more dramatic."
The collective have come up with an unusual ticketing method. They will only sell 10 tickets for each night in the traditional way – the rest will be given away on the tube, from the beginning of August. They will be attached to something to do with one of the plays. "It's very easy if you're in the arts world to get everyone you know to come but it takes away the point of encouraging new audiences," says Mahfouz. "Next time you see a baguette on the Circle Line, don't dismiss it. It might have a pair of tickets attached."