Pedalling Back
Backspace
Until March 19, then touring regional centres

Blue Cow Theatre’s playwright development lab is bearing fruit. Writer/ performer Jeff Michel’s coming of age tale is the first of a number of new works by the Hobart based actors’ company. It is a very auspicious beginning – Pedalling Back has all the hallmarks of an instant classic.

Set amongst the movie houses, high school corridors and middle class dens of his hometown state of Ohio, USA, Michel tells a funny, wistful, and ultimately very moral story of one young man’s getting of wisdom.  It is also very much an actor’s tale – Michel the veteran performer asks us more than once to reflect on the nature of stories (and storytellers). “Everything I am going to tell you may or may not be true – but it is real”.

First up director Mel King with co – director Frank Neuman, have created the perfect frame for Michel’s playful, highly physical performance style. Matthew Fargher’s pop culture sound mash up richly evokes both the period and the world of the play. Michel’s superb technique allows him as he must, to turn his play on a pin.

It is a rare experience to encounter a new play by a first up writer, delivered by a team of artists with such confidence and joy. Pedalling Back is a triumph and a rich endorsement of a professional theatre culture investing in the long term development of writers. 

Michael McLaughlin
The Mercury