The Old 505 Theatre presents RIDE by Jane Bodie at the Old 505 Theatre space, Hibernian House, Elizabeth St Central Railway.
Two livers of life, a 'he' and a 'she', wake up in the same bed, no knowing how they met, where they met, when they met, who each other are, and what or why they wanted, to get into this bed, or, even did they do IT! These two young culture representatives, perhaps, of the binge obliterators of real life, as they know it, and that we have been reading about in our newspapers (especially Monday mornings), wake up, and over the day that follows take us on a gentle probing into trying to jigsaw the puzzle together. It finishes with a recognition that 'he' offered 'she' a RIDE home and at last they introduce themselves as Joe (Michael Pigott) and Elizabeth (Kerri Glasscock).
It is directed by Gareth Boylan, a little too simply, with not enough variations of pace, or encouragement to emotional range and attached 'truth' to the journey. Mr Pigott gives a gentle, soft edged touch to the bewildered host of this situation. There is an air of empathetic charismatics that is an inherent part of the persona of this actor that works well and allows us to identify his character's fragility. Ms Glasscock is reliable, but tends to be 'acting' and does not really achieve a complete embodiment of the woman she is impersonating. The work is intellectually and technically 'mapped', but, the performance shifts and developments are not truly organically connected. In this intimate space, the performance skill, in this kind of play, must be scrupulously "real" - for in this tiny space we can see the characters, in a kind of cinematic close-up, and the ability for us to be lost in the verisimilitude of the playing is essential, otherwise a subjective disconnect happens, and we watch a little to objectively - disengaged.
Ms Bodie's play is a beautiful piece of writing in a very 'middle-of-the-road' kind of way and the audience was able to easily identify the commonalities with their lives, and were amused with this human recognition of the RIDE that these two characters take. Last year, Ms Bodie gave us THIS YEAR'S ASHES, up at the Griffin theatre and this play feels like a preparatory exploration for it.
RIDE is easy to enjoy and a sort of 'rom-com' for the near to be married, or just married individuals, who may be reminiscing about times nearly gone, or now gone, because of THE vow.