Boy Steals Train, Assembly Rooms, Edinburgh

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The Independent Culture

Tme ominous hiss of an approaching train opens this story about a boy who loves trains too much. More joyriding than Trainspotting, it recounts the real-life history of Darius McCollum of New York, who dropped out of school and started hanging out on the wrong side of the tracks; in this case, subway tracks. Befriending the drivers, he learnt from them until, at 15, he was handed the keys to a train and drove it to the World Trade Centre. Which is where the story really starts; since then his continuing obsession with trains has had him arrested 20 times and made him an urban legend. It's a good story, which is enthusiastically told in this stage version by 78th Street Theatre Lab, but it's only partly successful. With the whole, energetic cast appearing almost all the time, wearing the same uniforms but playing different characters (and, in McCollum's case, different ages), the plot is harder to follow than the District and Circle lines. Self-conscious bouts of rapping and regular appearances from a deranged busker do nothing to keep the story moving.

The real question is whether McCollum is a criminal or simply suffering from a rare form of autism. The play argues heavily for autism but ducks out at the last minute, concluding that "we're all God's children" and celebrating with a final group rap, the "Subway Groove". The only person who can't join in the happy ending is McCollum himself, who's serving out his latest prison sentence.

Venue 3, 12.25pm (1hr 10 mins), to 25 Aug (not 12 and 19 Aug) (0131-226 2428)