She has been hit, but by what? Guilt? Lack of self-worth? Disappointment? No. It’s the realisation that her façade of confidence and passion for Spin is just that – a façade.
Performed entirely on a spin bike, this one-woman show attempts to take down a society in which the beauty of a soul is judged entirely by its appearance. In doing so, it forces onto people constant feelings of doubt about ever being good enough, guilt for eating dessert, or even disappointment for failing to comply with society’s unrealistic expectations.
Those soul-crushing fitness corporations have created a dangerous cycle of negativity, which is ultimately depicted as the only outcome possible to trying to become someone else. Therein lies a deeper thought: how do we avoid trying to become society’s norm? Are we destined to become just another pawn in the big Game of Life?
This play takes the audience on a deep emotional journey of self-discovery into the reality of fitness corporations and the societal pressures which they introduce. It explores how such institutions have constructed the idea of the ‘perfect body’ complete with muscles and a skinny figure, making every meal ‘a fight between good and bad.’ But more than that, they have created a world in which our ‘birthright becomes a prison’ hidden behind a delusion of positivity and energy. The pure irony of it all being that those companies promote ‘healthy lifestyles,’ but the reality is so far from its advertised goal.
Despite the dark themes explored in this production, Kate Sumpter’s script takes you on what can only be described as a realistic stream of consciousness, complete with moments ranging from genuine laughter to ones of deep reflection. The performance delivered by Sumpter was simply divine, her personal human reactions to such dark themes do her credit as she attempts to fight back the negativity forced onto her by cult-like corporations.
Unexpectedly, I found the addition of a largely techno-dance soundtrack, coupled with harsh strobe lighting, to be beneficial to the production itself. The beat of the music, as well as the rhythmic patterns of the lights, were perfectly timed to match the tone of the story, adding an extra layer of forced reflection as you are completely immersed in Sumpter’s world.
I really believe that ‘Spin’ has a very bright future ahead of it, as it reinvents the concept of a one-person production by literally spinning it to become vastly distinguishable from others.
Spin will run at Edinburgh Fringe from the 2nd to the 27th August at the Gilded Balloon Patter Hoose. For more tickets and information, you can follow the link here.
AD | gifted tickets in return for an honest review