Life is short but the tour is long and hilariously painful! This funny, heartfelt one-man show is about cycling and obsession, envy and ambition, winning and losing, and finding the inner grit to dominate the mountain stages of life. Written and performed by Hew Parham, Symphonie de la Bicyclette arrives at Adelaide Festival Centre’s Space Theatre on 17 January and will run until 21 January.
Hew cleverly tells two stories in parallel in this new theatre piece celebrating our obsession with life on two wheels. Hew is a passionate wannabe cyclist. But Hew is in a malaise. Stuck in a cycle of dead-end jobs and missed opportunities he has long harboured a pathological envy of his more successful high school friend, now professional cyclist, Jake.
Hew entwines his journey with our hero’s tale – the great Gino Bartali (1914 – 2000), winner of the Tour de France in 1938 and 1948, who, in WWII, risked his life to save Jewish lives in Northern Italy by secretly transporting documents in his bicycle.
In Symphonie de la Bicyclette these stories combine to create an absurdly hysterical yet ultimately moving portrait of the quest for glory and heroism.
Brink Artistic Director Chris Drummond says “Hew is a brilliant storyteller. He weaves together the epic stories of two cyclists from two different worlds – one, the great Gino Bartali – with amazing invention and flare. Symphonie de la Bicyclette is equal parts hilarity and heart – a truly wonderful ride!”
Programmed as part of the Tour Down Under’s events program, Hew says “I feel very honoured and privileged to perform this show during the TDU. I got the first idea for this show actually working for TDU in Victoria Square, so it feels somehow perfect that it’s come full circle. This show has been a labour of love for me, and I am excited to bring this epic story to you all.”
‘Medals aren’t meant to be worn on the shirt; they are to be worn on the soul.’Gino Bartali (1914-2000)
Symphonie de la Bicyclette is presented by Brink Productions who create original theatrical experiences through the art of storytelling, in collaboration with great artists. Projects begin from any number of starting points and take on any shape to find the best way for a story to come to life.
Based on Kaurna Country in Adelaide, South Australia, Brink’s work reflects contemporary society in all its diversity, unveiling the magic and the truth inside stories through moments of surprise, delight and revelation.
Brink acknowledges that the land on which they create stories is the traditional land of the Kaurna people who, for millennia, have been the originalstorytellers of thisland, and pay their respect to their Elders- past, present and future.