Long Ride Home
02/08/2023 - 05/08/2023
21/03/2024 - 23/03/2024
Written and Directed by Jack McGee
Sound Design by Esteban Jaramillo
Squash Co Arts Collective
In this new Pōneke play, two estranged siblings attempt to reconnect and quickly discover how annoying they still find one another. As they push their way through the extraneous nonsense of family drama, they find themselves falling into a divide stretched exponentially wider by their years apart. As they bike to a mutual friends party, the brother and sister question what it means to be part of a family, and what they mean to each other. Is their relationship worth saving, or do they even have a choice?
Award-winning playwright Jack Mcgee (2023 winner of Playmarket’s Playwrights b425) is back with his most recent work: Long Ride Home.
Brought to you with the support of Wellington City Council and Switched On Bikes.
Venue: Te Auaha’s Tapere Iti theatre, located at 1 Dixon Street
Season: 2 – 5th August 2023
Price: $17.50 Concession, $22 General Admission (+ Booking fee)
Book at: www.eventbrite.co.nz/e/long-ride-home-tickets-662106086127?aff=oddtdtcreator
Event Listing: www.teauahaevents.com/home/long-ride-home/
Squash Co Website: www.squashco.art/
Nelson Fringe Festival 2024
Refinery ArtSpace, 114 Hardy Street,
Dates: 21-23 March
Writer & Director: Jack McGee
Actor: Dylan Hutton
Actor and Publicist: Anna Barker
Production Management: Phoebe Caldeiro
Stage Management: Julia McDonald
Set support: Sam Griffen
Humorous, well-paced, dramatically satisfying ... Outstanding
Review by Maryanne Cathro 03rd Aug 2023
On the black box stage of Te Auaha’s Tapere Iti are two stationary bikes. Stationary as in real bikes with the back wheels held in stationary clamps (not exercise type bikes). I have arrived knowing that the play is set during a bike ride to a party but the logistics hadn’t really sunk in, and now I am curious as to how this is going to work. There is no pre-show music to make an obvious cue so when the lights dim to indicate the play is about to start, it takes people a moment to realise and fall silent.
Cate (Anna Barker) and David (Dylan Hutton) enter the stage together – siblings in their twenties, Anna a few years younger. Their body language is already signalling how things are between them. They are biking together to mutual friend Kieran’s party. After a minor spat about who gets which bike, they are off.
David has returned to Whanganui-a-Tara from London at his grandmother’s expense, to attend a family function (not where they are heading) and it’s been five years since Cate and David have hung out. Five years in which Cate has graduated Uni and started working in public transport. Five years in which David has been struggling to establish himself as an actor in the UK, while working in a pub. I don’t feel that sharing this information is a spoiler as this play is not so much about the circumstances of their relationship as the relationship itself.
As they ride along, sometimes changing gear and standing on the pedals to go up the many hills, the terrain is unmistakeably Wellington’s, and I have a moment of fancying that maybe I could decode the location from the way they are riding.
Long Ride Home is a lovingly and credibly painted portrait of the complexities of sibling resentment. At first I am thinking about sibling rivalry, which trips off the tongue, but that implies a relationship of trying to outdo one another, and that’s not what is happening here. The brittle and witty conversation is loaded with emotions not expressed, and some that are. We are drawn into their worlds, and anyone who has a sibling will resonate with their relationship at some level.
They reach the party and a minute of empty stage passes, as do a couple of years at least in time. It is warmer now, from their clothes, and circumstances have shifted considerably. To say more really would be a spoiler. Suffice to say that the ending is both satisfying and sufficiently open-ended to allow us all to draw our own conclusions.
The rides to and from the party are reflective of the leaving and being left that McGee mentions in his programme notes, and the tensions between the OE and feeling connected to our precious Aotearoa, are sensitively explored.
Jack McGee’s script is humorous, well-paced and dramatically satisfying in its story telling arc, as is his directing. Both actors get it absolutely right, and they achieve this while being in almost perpetual motion. The lighting (no designer is credited but Riley Gibson and Julia McDonald contribute their skills) portrays the times when they put distance between them physically, simply and clearly. Sound design by Esteban Jaramillo is understated and effective.
I’ve said it before, I’m saying it now and I will absolutely say it again in future – the quality of theatre coming out of this generation of theatre makers is outstanding.
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