2018 Toronto Fringe Preview Questionnaire: BikeFace

2 Jul

Credit: Hayley Andoff

Your name: Clare Blackwood

Your production: BikeFace

Your role: Performer

Tell me about your show.

During the Victorian era bicycle craze, doctors warned women riders they would undoubtedly cultivate “bicycle faces”: becoming over-exerted, wild-eyed, un-sexed vulgarities, when faced with nothing before them but the wide, open road. A hundred years later, the story of BikeFace takes off. It’s a one-woman whirlwind retracing a real-life bicycle adventure across Canada, challenging the outdated gender stereotype. Filled with strange-but-true tales of Wild West proprietors, haunted graveyards, and secrets only fit for strangers, BikeFace will tickle your funnybone but, above all else, will ignite your thirst for adventure! (5 STARS -Vue Weekly; 4 STARS -Global News).

On a personal note: I ride a bike in a hoodie for a large portion of the show, so if you’ve ever wanted to see how sweaty a human being can possibly get while onstage, YOU’RE IN LUCK, FRIEND.

You’ve been commissioned to write a musical about the events of 2018 so far. What is it called, and what’s your elevator pitch?

Yup, We’re Doomed: An Immersive Journey

Picture this, if you will: the curtain rises to the sound of wailing. Just, like, from everyone. The actors, the techs, the director, the stage manager, and, because they have been politely prompted to by the program’s Director’s Note, the audience. Everyone is sobbing and screaming and beating their chests and throwing things and it is VERY DRAMATIC. Somewhere in the distance, and we’re not entirely sure where they’ll come from yet, there are sirens. This will form the majority of the musical’s soundtrack. Where’s the subtlety, we can already hear you asking? ASK 2018, WHY DON’T YOU.

A white man dressed as an actual cheeto steps onto the stage and begins a carefully-curated PowerPoint presentation on how White Privilege is a Fake News Liberal Myth, and then will try to steal audience member’s children away from them until he is chased off the stage and symbolically murdered by a group of multicultural interpretive dancers. There is an excessive use of red streamers in this last part, probably, if it’s in the budget. Audiences love streamers.

The rest of the show is a non-stop barrage of the actors screaming real headlines from news outlets that have aired this year (this can be updated daily, to keep the musical topical), and occasionally we’ll throw in a song or two set to the most depressing instrumental accompaniment our composer has managed to throw together after his nightly whiskey binges. The band will consist of an oboe and fifteen cellos.

Basically it’s probably going to be the Come From Away of 2018.

What other shows or artists are you looking forward to seeing?

SO MANY. Filament’s Rage Against Trilogy, TallBoyz II Men’s A 6IX NNNNNN Review, Ashley With a “Y”, Featherweight, Generally Hospital, Moonstruck, Prank- and, in a completely predictable turn of events if you’ve literally ever spoken to me before in your entire life, Sex T-Rex’s D&D Live! It combines my favourite things ever: Sex T-Rex, Dungeons & Dragons, and improv. WHAT MORE COULD YOU WANT WITH YOUR LIFE.

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