Everyone uses the tube in London. Most people touch in with their Oyster card, settle down with a Metro and look forward to arriving at their destination without giving their surroundings much more thought.
Not so much tube expert, author and now stand up performer, Geoff Marshall.
The man likes the tube, specifically the tube map, and has managed to turn his interest first into a hobby and then into an obsession. #Tubespotting is the amusing tale of the man and his map, and how the challenge of visiting every station on the map in as fast of a time as possible has shaped a good portion of his adult life.
The evening takes form around what has been an ongoing challenge for Marshall – that of holding the Guinness World Record (TM and all that) for having been to every tube station on the London Underground in the fastest amount of time. Marshall describes his attempts (both successful and… not so much) through a series of genuinely amusing anecdotes. There’s a lot of clever tube information mixed in, and it’s certainly a lively evening – Marshall is a very good storyteller.
But don’t be fooled into thinking the world of competitive tube traveling is all sunshine and ‘good services.’ There’s a downside to the devotion he’s given to his hobby, and the portion in which he discusses the betrayal he experienced along his journey is surprisingly poignant and sad. He’s open to discussing the failures he’s experienced along the way, although little is said of the attempt in which he only managed 55 stations; there’s a story there, surely – but you find yourself rooting for the guy to succeed (even if you do happen to know the outcome.)
There’s a lot here for the more…intense… tube geeks, but there’s also a lot here that anyone who’s ever stepped on a tube train in rush hour will love. His analysis of TFL’s informational signs is absolutely hilarious, and a very physical portion of the show to demonstrate changing trains is equally funny and worryingly accurate.
It’s certainly a charming evening and for those wondering how he did it, he may give you some hints as to his route– but you’ll have to be quick.
For more info about Geoff Marshall, his Guinness World Record (#SpoilerAlert) and when you can catch his next #Tubespotting show, do head here.