Sam Anderson’s Bi-Cycle sees a Sydney spin-class instructor cathartically explore his relationship with his sexuality. This intelligent one-man show explores the struggle for self-acceptance with a delicate blend of humour and heartfelt dramatics from Anderson.
With the audience addressed as participants of the spin class (with some off-the-cuff interaction), Anderson’s enthusiastic instructor encourages us to reach our fitness goals, whilst dipping into flashback exploring his coming to terms with his own sexuality. The two blend with touching and humorous ease helping this resistance-heavy bike ride act as a metaphor to the uphill journey faced by our protagonist in his journey for self-acceptance.
Anderson’s engaging performance draws us in as he flips between confident fitness supremo to the fragile, uneasy young man recounting key moments in his journey to come to terms with his sexuality. These flashbacks explore his first romantic encounter with a man (which leads to both humorous references to The Lion King and jarring nightmares of persecution by an over-zealous SWAT team). Bi-Cycle dips into our protagonist’s mother’s reluctant faux-acceptance, cold detachment from his father, and the judgemental outdated viewpoints of GPs. Exploring these acts as a hard-hitting glimpse at the institutions and relationships which can so often pressure and cloud us in our natural search for acceptance.
Positive encounters with a male lover (known as Simba) and an accepting therapist showcase a sense of optimism and hope in a quest for self-acceptance, something which is paralleled in the euphoric joy of completing an intense spin work out. This tone is impressively captured in Anderson’s energetic and spirited performance The performer is excellent at capturing the melting pot of emotions faced by this conflicted character with the emotional ups and downs he faces continually gripping us as an audience, whilst bringing a natural warmth to the fold as he does this.
Bi-Cycle is an intelligently crafted exploration of the desire for self-acceptance and overturning the constructs and relationships that prevent us from achieving this. Anderson’s spirited performance helps this cathartic piece shine in a consistently heartfelt and amusing manner.