Charing Cross Theatre
25th Aug to 17th Sep 2022
“It’s 1895 and Annie Londonderry has returned victorious to America, hailed as the first woman ever to cycle around the world. She’s pioneering, she’s plucky, and she’s pitching her story to the men who run the newspapers.RIDE gears up for its first full production.”From the infamous wager that set her journey in motion, to her freewheeling adventures with captains, cowboys, and customs officials, Annie just knows her tales will spin readers into a frenzy. But as she approaches rough terrain, and unexpected paths throw her off balance, can Annie regain her footing, or will she confront the past she left behind? This new musical by Freya Catrin Smith and Jack Williams, directed by Sarah Meadows, charts one woman’s radical act and explores the lies we tell to escape ourselves.
Review by Richard Lambert, 4 Stars
Walking into the Charing Cross Theatre I always wonder “what configuration will the theatre be in for this production”? Well, finally, they’ve got this one right! It’s end-on and the downstage line of the set is midway allowing for a gorgeous real drawing room set with rear wall that can be hinged back to reveal a deep stage outdoor area where later on cycling and washing lines can be accommodated. The set also reduce the audience capacity which is a huge bonus in a venue that often struggles to attract audiences.
The lighting is discretely rigged to shine through the ceiling sections with minimal moving lights and predominantly fixed rig. Again, really nicely done. Occasionally I did wonder if a little more front light for the face would help but generally the moods and atmosphere nailed!
Musical direction was fabulous! Sound Scape worked lovely which included a lot of orchestral backing. The show starts with flair and is quite exciting.
Sadly the story takes a long time to go anywhere and there isn’t a lot of revelation. Annie has been living under a false name in order to become famous, concerned that her real Latvian name would never gain traction in American society.
As a 2-hander it was very surprising to see how many names were listed on the production team!!! A staggering amount of people involved and a very expensive looking production. I wish it well!
DEM Productions Website www.demproductions.co.ukTwitter @DEMProduction5 Facebook @DEMProductions