The White Bike
Reviewed – 22nd September 2017
“the elaborate synchronicity in the movement serves the story well giving a sense of scope and spectacle to an otherwise intimate story”
Mixing the mundane and the mystical, The White Bike at the Space is a story about how sharply the world can come crashing down around us. 29 year old Isabelle cycles through London lost in her own thoughts, only to have the real world invade with cataclysmic consequences.
This is a beautiful play – a personal story told with a gentle touch. Director Lily McLeish has created an intricate and nuanced production which embraces the details of Tamara Von Werthern’s heartfelt script. A physical ensemble piece, the elaborate synchronicity in the movement (Simon Pittman) serves the story well giving a sense of scope and spectacle to an otherwise intimate story. The set design (Lucy Sierra) is well thought out and the soundscape Pete Malkin) compliments the action beautifully.
As Isabelle, Josephine Starte is charming. Sweet and naïve, she carries the production along with a winsome innocence as she takes us through Isabelle’s life. The whole cast are excellent as they construct the world around her, taking on a multitude of roles. Christopher Akrill’s Henry is an affable and calming presence and Helen Stern gives a warm, comforting performance as Isabelle’s mother Juliette. A particular highlight was Helen Millar’s credible and endearing turn as Lily and there is a surprisingly touching moment from Liam Faik as the man responsible for the tragedy at the centre of the play. While sentimental, nothing is overplayed or milked for shock value, creating genuine sympathy and affection for this world.
This is the story of an ordinary catastrophe. While there is a serious issue at the heart of this play, the production wisely avoids moralising and condemnation. It focuses on the individual and has much more impact for it. Based on a true story, the play is supporting the See Me Save Me Campaign. A lovely addition to the Space’s already exciting programme.
Reviewed for thespyinthestalls.com
Photography by Tommy Cha
THE WHITE BIKE
is at The Space until 30th September