Review: Mean Between Times @ Greenwich And Docklands International Festival

Rachel Holdsworth
By Rachel Holdsworth Last edited 68 months ago
Review: Mean Between Times @ Greenwich And Docklands International Festival

If you travel on the train between Charing Cross and Greenwich you might have spent a couple of days puzzling over the brightly coloured signs that have appeared within view of the tracks. Is it a lo-fi marketing campaign for a new Ricky Martin single? Or what about that early Halloween installation at Deptford? And at Waterloo East... no, we're not going to spoiler you for what's at Waterloo East.

It's actually all set dressing for Mean Between Times, an audio performance from theatre company 11:18 as part of the Greenwich and Docklands International Festival. Setting off from Charing Cross station* you're handed a pair of headphones and led onto a train – not a special train, or a set-aside carriage, but the normal train peddling the commuter route. You hear the stories of various Londoners, and make sure you're looking out the windows to spot the various, carefully laid on, supporting visual cues.

There's something wistful about gazing through a train window anyway, and the stories you hear have a slight melancholy that plays up to the feeling. But there are also moments that are funny, playful and sweet (literally), making the whole experience truly delightful. If you're a SE Londoner it's fascinating to have another take on a well-known route, but even if it's not your manor there's still a thrill to be had from experiencing the work surrounded by other people just having their normal day.

The whole thing is free, including your train ticket to Greenwich (but not back). Since you're there, why not catch another GDIF performance?

*Except tomorrow, when the trains will leave from Cannon Street. Southeastern only mentioned on Thursday that there was engineering work, so 11:18 had no time to prepare an alternate version. You'll get a part-performance but, hey, it's free right?

Mean Between Times leaves from the information desk at Charing Cross station 11am, 1.30pm, 4pm today, Cannon Street 11am (BSL), 1.30pm, 4pm Sunday 24 June, and Charing Cross 3pm and 7pm 25-30 June. It's all free. There is a change at London Bridge which involves stairs.

Last Updated 23 June 2012


Southeastern never told GDIF or the performance company that there were engineering works on Sunday: I spotted a poster at Waterloo East on the way home a few nights ago and tweeted GDIF to ask about it. Next thing we know, the starting point was shifted to Cannon St. 

Disappointed to hear we won't get to see the full performance (maybe you can 'spoil' Waterloo East once the run is over!) but I don't blame the performance company or GDIF at all. According to someone in the know, Southeastern would've known about the CHX closure by early May at the latest. Fail.


Hello all, Charlotte here from 11:18. Just wanted to say that Southeastern staff have been really great to work with on this piece. A little bemused by us, perhaps, but very helpful. Sunday was a pretty bad oversight but despite that we have been very grateful for their support. One thing we have learned is that staff on the Information Desk at Charing Cross know EVERYTHING.