RIDE - A New Musical ★★★★ Charing Cross Theatre | Aug 25 - Sep 17, 2022


Con artist or role model? Imposter or Inspiration? Annie Kopchovsky aka Annie Londonderry is a paradoxical character who lives in a world of fact and fiction. Her bicycle trip around the world in 1895 is the stuff of legend, and her self-promotion recalls the exploits of P.T. Barnum. RIDE is a musical version of this story, and it is told with sympathy and insight, as the layers of Annie's invention are peeled away to expose the desperate woman whose derring-do and resourcefulness are undeniable. Trapped in a world that defines her by gender, class, religion and ethnicity, she reimagines her reality and motivates others to believe in their personal destinies. Liv Andrusier does a remarkable job of bringing Annie to life. She exudes a completely credible combination of bravado, charisma and self-doubt. As Annie's foils, Martha and Celine, Yuki Sutton also puts in a fine performance. Her growing belief in her mentor's vision and her developing self-confidence is palpable. As the dilettante, Fred Rose, with whom Annie becomes enamoured, Sutton is also convincing. Freya Catrin Smith and Jack Williams have created some memorable music for the show. This is a score that carries the audience along and beautifully advances the narrative. We particularly liked the pieces "By My Side" and "Ride The Moment." If there is a downside to RIDE, it is the abundance of anachronisms. Careless references to chrome plating, tissues, crossword puzzles etc. really break the illusion that this is all happening in 1895. Amy Jane Cook has created a wonderfully versatile set and director Sarah Meadows has paced the show perfectly. We would strongly urge you to join Annie on her fabulous life journey.

Rated: ★★★★

Reviewed by J.C.
Photo by Danny Kaan.

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