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White Guy on the Bus - Finborough Theatre

Donald Sage Mackay

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

IN A production commissioned by the Finborough Theatre, the European premiere of American playwright Bruce Graham’s White Guy on the Bus runs at the Finborough Theatre for a four-week limited season – from Tuesday, March 27 to Saturday, April 21, 2018.

Do you want that money to get your son to a nice safe neighbourhood, or are you going to make some noble, moral stand which means absolutely nothing?

Ray and Roz are a white, liberal couple living in the safe, staid suburbs of Philadelphia. He is a financial consultant who makes “rich people richer”. She is a passionate teacher who commutes every day to educate the mainly black students of an inner-city school.

On the face of it, life runs smoothly. But Ray seems to hanker after change. He leaves his Mercedes in the drive, and takes to riding the public bus through the African-American neighbourhoods of the city – the only white guy on the bus.

Ray becomes a regular on the same route as Shatique – a young, black single mother who is studying to become a nurse, and determined to make a different life for her 9-year-old son. They strike up a relationship. But what does Ray really want from Shatique?

Bruce Graham’s excoriating and shocking play blows open the racial fault-lines of Trump’s America. With an all too familiar resonance here in the UK, it questions us all – what deals are we willing to make, and with which devils?

White Guy on the Bus is directed by Jelena Budimir, a former Associate Director at Chickenshed Theatre, designed by Sarah Jane Booth and performed by Marina Bye as Molly, Samantha Coughlan as Roz, Donald Sage Mackay (pictured) as Ray, Joanna McGibbon as Shatique and Carl Stone as Christopher.

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Also at the Finborough Theatre: the world premiere of the first English-language adaptation of the classic novella by Ghassan Kanafani, Returning to Haifa (until March 24) and the world premiere of Checkpoint Chana (until March 20, 2018).