It’s hard to truly appreciate the hard work and sheer talent it takes to keep an audience entertained; especially when you’re standing up there alone for an hour and a half. But Bike, by Katherine Mitchell, has been elegantly crafted so that an audience member barely notices the time flying by with witty lines and devastating revelations as we follow the life of one woman’s sexual and emotional discovery.
It’s very rare that one has the pleasure of watching a performance created by women, for women; and every woman in the audience wholeheartedly followed Jenny Johns as she guided us through her character’s sexual experiences with an honesty that was thought provoking and profound. It was obvious that every member of the production team cared about the voice of Johns’ main character.
There was a multitude of diverse characters that Johns’ needed to portray besides her main voice; these ranged from her first boyfriend to the couples councillor – my personal favourite. Each character played an important role, but the physical and vocal characterisation of many was not clear enough to stop moments of confusion; this meant the occasional struggle to figure out whether we were listening to Johns’ main voice, or a minor character. Saying this, the attempt has to be commended because of the diversity and range that each minor role required.
It was clear from the outset that the director, Nancy Medina, had a clear vision of what she wanted to achieve. The audience was deftly guided through – and drawn into – the story of the main voice; this could not have been achieved in a story as emotionally complex as Bike, without huge directorial skill. This coupled with well thought out lighting effects, designed by Luke John Emmett, and beautiful one-liners, delivered with perfect timing, made for a very enjoyable and revelatory evening. Bike is definitely not one to miss!
4 ½ Stars