If you’re the kind of person who froths with rage when someone puts their phone on loudspeaker on public transport, you’re going to need to stay away from the tube for the next few weeks. It’s just not safe for you down there right now. Because some weird guy is popping up everywhere on the London Underground network, performing energetic tapdancing routines while wearing only silk boxer shorts and a flapping dressing gown.
Frankly, it’s the kind of attention-hogging behaviour that gives theatre kids a bad name, and understandably, not everyone’s happy about it. Disgruntled TikTok user Molly posted a video of her interrupted Central line journey, with the caption ‘casual tap dancer on the tube. see it. say it. pls will someone sort it.’ The comments were similarly bewildered. ‘Y is he doing this on every line like he’s collecting infinity stones,’ asked one commenter. ‘Saw him on northern yesterday.’
Other videos show the nimble eccentric tapdancing on empty platforms and going down escalators. But what’s this guy’s deal? ‘We’ll see a lot more of that if our energy bills keep going up,’ said another commenter, implying that tapdancing guy has had a cozzy livs-induced nervous breakdown.
Certainly, his state of semi-undress does suggest that either he got locked out when he was putting the rubbish out, or that he’s living in a different reality from the rest of us. But look a bit closer and the picture gets more complicated. For starters, he’s clearly a professional dancer, from his neatly slicked head to his adeptly pointing toes. Plus, he’s been weirdly organised about his appearances, popping up in a variety of photogenic locations and getting reliably papped by TikTok users. It’s almost like he’s planned the whole thing…
One commenter suggested a possible identity for this cavorting man of mystery: dancer Michael Lin, who’s recently appeared in tapdancing musical theatre spectacular ‘42nd Street’ at Paris’s Théâtre du Châtelet. Could these underground appearances be his bid to toe tap his way into a West End role? Or are they a viral marketing stunt for a new musical that’s coming our way? Maybe one set at Bank station.
The video’s too blurry for us to be sure. But it feels likely that all will become clear soon: it’s a rare performer who can resist the opportunity to seize the spotlight.
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See tapdancers in their native habitat with our pick of the West End’s best shows.