The Scary Bikers

John Godber and Jane Thornton esplore, bereavement, bucycles and Brexit in The Scary Bikers

The Scary Bikers: Lighthouse, Pool. (Friday 23rd March, 2018)

I imagine that award-winning husband and wife actors John Godber and Jane Thornton could have become  badly unstuck with a play about bereavement, bicycles and Brexit.

In fact The Scary Bikers, written and directed by Godber and co-produced by his own theatre company, worked a treat.

Not surprising perhaps as Mr Godber knows rather a lot about writing for the theatre. He’s reputed to be Britain’s third most performed playwright after Shakespeare and Ayckbourn. Suffice to say this nifty two-hander negotiated its thorny subjects with ease.

With a clever set that starts life as a Cycle Cafe but with light and sound can evoke the atmosphere of a Belgian motorway or an Italian hotel, we find retired Yorkshire miner Don meeting former teacher Carol. They have nothing in common except the recent loss of their respective partners…and an interest in cycling. Thrown together by circumstance they hatch a madcap scheme to make a road trip across Europe on a tandem.

Their destination is Florence and they embark on their saddle-sore journey on the very day of the Brexit referendum. Carol’s a fervent remainer and Don, a veteran of the 1984 miner’s strike and part-time NHS porter, has voted leave.The play, deadly serious but laced with humour, explores the growing political conflict and the betrayal of those who believed the lies on the bus.

It also examines their developing friendship showing that companionship in times of loneliness and need can transcend personal differences. As Don and Carol deal with the present and worry about the future they discover that, though they’re uncertain about where their lives are heading, there’s strength when you’re pedalling together.

*The Scary Bikers plays Lighthouse in Poole again tonight (Saturday 24th March)

© Jeremy Miles 2022