Reviews have started to come in for RIDE- A New Musical at Charing Cross Theatre by Freya Catrin Smith and Jack Williams, and directed by Sarah Meadows.
The cast includes Liv Andrusier (Annie Londonderry), Yuki Sutton (Martha), and Amy Parker (Alternate Annie / Cover Martha).
The musical is set in 1895, and Annie Londonderry has returned victorious to America, hailed as the first woman ever to cycle around the world. She’s pioneering, she’s plucky, and she’s pitching her story to the men who run the newspapers. From the infamous wager that set her journey in motion, to her freewheeling adventures with captains, cowboys, and customs officials, Annie just knows her tales will spin readers into a frenzy. But as she approaches rough terrain, and unexpected paths throw her off balance, can Annie regain her footing, or will she confront the past she left behind?
Ride was nominated for the Best Musical Theatre Book Writing in the 2022 Writers Guild Awards, and the title song from the show nominated for the 2020 Stiles and Drewe Best New Song Prize.
The show is designed by Amy Jane Cook, with choreography/movement by Natasha Harrison, musical direction by Sam Young, orchestrations by Macy Schmidt, lighting design by Jamie Platt, sound design by Andy Johnson, assistant direction by Olivia Munk, and DEM Productions as Producer and General Manager.
Ride is playing at the Charing Cross Theatre until 17 September 2022.
More reviews to follow.
Ride - A New Musical reviews
"A true story of female empowerment"
"New musical about a barrier-breaking woman freewheels into the West End"
"Both women sing well, Andrusier with plenty of belt (especially on her 11 o’clock number, “Out Of Time”) and Sutton with more variety, using her sharp comic timing to get the most out of a range of comic roles."
"Do not be surprised to see a longer, bigger iteration of Ride in the future, one that might use a larger cast and not strain the two actors’ voices quite so much (I feared a little for them, I confess)."
"Liv Andrusier delivers a barnstorming performance"
"Emotionally rich new musical biopic featuring two intense, entertaining performers"
"The book deftly negotiates the twists and turns of Annie’s journey from Latvian immigrant to media icon. Under the able baton of musical director Sam Young, this gutsy show has a full-bodied score that speaks to us across the decades..."
"Liv Andrusier delivers a barnstorming performance as Annie, embracing the peculiar narrative style with confidence and a killer belt. She’s an impressively complex character, whom Andrusier invests with clarity and charisma, while Yuki Sutton as Martha proves first the perfect foil and then the welcome saviour."
"The new musical gets a full run in London"
"It's therefore a pleasure to encounter such a bracingly original, exquisitely crafted and generally delightful piece as Freya Catrin Smith and Jack Williams's Ride, which takes a piece of little-known history and makes it into something funny, robust and universal."
"Musically, the show veers between pop and show tunes, with Sam Young's tiny but mighty band delivering Macy Schmidt's exquisite orchestrations with real flair."
"The storytelling sags a little about half way through and it would be nice to discover even more about this unconventional heroine and her life choices and motivations."
"Jaunty new musical takes cyclist’s feat for a spin"
"This soulful celebration of adventurer Annie Londonderry takes time to get into gear, but newcomer Liv Andrusier gives a superb performance"
"The music is strong, if slightly samey, although the meat of the story takes some time to reach."
"Whatever its shortfalls, this is a soulful musical with its biggest asset in Andrusier, who is captivating to watch throughout. A glittering new musical star has surely been launched."
"Get on your bike and go!"
"In 1894, Bostonian Annie Londonderry became the first woman to cycle around the world."
"Freya Catrin Smith and Jack Williams’ new musical not only chronicles her extraordinary achievement but also uncovers her deception. On a set depicting a Victorian library, it takes you by surprise at every turn."