Ride

Few will perhaps have heard of Annie Londonderry, but after seeing Freya Catrin Smith and Jack Williams’ Ride, it will be practically impossible to forget the name.

Just astonishing

Upon her return to the States, Annie Londonderry (Liv Andruiser), with the help of Martha (Yuki Sutton) pitches and recreates her record setting bike ride around the world, blurring the lines between fact and fiction to the point where even we can't tell which is which.

The story and action that occur onstage become much bigger than the four walls of Amy Jane Cook’s set, both literally and figuratively in just about every way imaginable. Sarah Meadows’ direction hints at an element of self-awareness within the show itself. It is hard to tell whether this is due to the innate humour, the fourth wall breaks that bring and make us part of the story, or the underlying message about the nature of stories and the lines between truth and fiction, but whatever it is, Ride is completely enthralling and provides us with an escape. This show is deep, multi-faceted and shows an incredible amount of heart beyond the initial lively and mischievous introduction that we receive, an arc reflected in the jazzy, charleston-esque score that infuses the show with energy. The score contains so much meaning hidden in the little details, like the repeating melodies, motifs and the lyrics themselves that just lifts the entire musical up.

The give and take between Andruiser and Sutton is the foundation of this show, as they play off of each, providing contrast and building on each other’s performances. They are both incredibly talented; Sutton in the way that she changes quickly between the various supporting characters and Andruiser simply to the vivacity she brings to the role. The pair’s determination, audacity and general excellence is incredibly enjoyable to watch. Sutton’s range is remarkable and her development of Martha’s character a true testament to her skill. Tackling the role with a lot of emotional maturity, Andruiser is a whirlwind of a performer, darting around and causing chaos as she navigates Annie’s story. The strength of her voice is astonishing in and of itself, and coupled with her interpretation of the role, the sheer emotional weight she throws behind every gesture, the way she carries herself and expression, well, needless to say Andruiser has us twisted around her finger.

Giving Annie Londonderry the moment in the sun that she deserves, Ride is just astonishing. This musical completely surpasses all expectations and is a musical that everyone should have on their list.

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Reviews by Katerina Partolina Schwartz

Leicester Square Theatre

Rhys Nicholson - Rhys! Rhys! Rhys!

★★★★★
The Bridge House Theatre

Everybody Wants To Rule The World

The Playground Theatre

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★★★★
Soho Theatre

Javelin

★★★★★
Charing Cross Theatre

Ride

★★★★
Apollo Theatre

Cruise

★★★★★

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Performances

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The Blurb

America 1895: Annie Londonderry, the pioneering and plucky first woman to cycle around the world returns victorious to pitch her story to the newspapers. From the infamous wager that set her journey in motion, to her freewheeling adventures with captains, cowboys, and customs officials, Annie knows her tales will spin readers into a frenzy. As she approaches rough terrain unexpected paths throw her off balance. Can she regain her footing, or will she confront the past she left behind?

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