Review: Lost Boy Racer at Lawrence Batley Theatre

WHEELY MAD Robin Simpson and Michaela Longden in Lost Boy Racer at the LBT in Huddersfield.
WHEELY MAD Robin Simpson and Michaela Longden in Lost Boy Racer at the LBT in Huddersfield.

Lost Boy Racer is a theatrical foray into the world of cycling-obsession and ties in nicely with upcoming phenomenon of the Tour de France getting underway on Yorkshire soil.

Suiting its billing as a comedy-drama, the production has moments of frivolity, poignancy and downright darkness with a hooded BMX-er dancing with a bike to a sombre soundtrack.

Sean Racer has ‘unfinished business’with a childhood spent on two wheels and the tale of a schoolboy race which ended in a broken friendship threads through.

We meet Sean as a lonely fish-and-chips-scoffing tax inspector whose encounter with dodgy-dealing hairdresser Linda-Marie inspires him to get back in the saddle and compete in Le Tour...in his garden shed.

There are notable performances from Thomas Aldersley as Sean and Robin Simpson as Claude, his bike tinkering/ex-pro mechanic friend whose every line is a clever metaphor to reflect his belief that cycling lives in the heart, soul and even sentences, of those who love the sport.

The cast move around a giant sculpture cannily crafted from bike bits, the creation of Tim Tolkien (yes, a distant relative of JRR himself). The performance, although punctured with the odd opening night teething problem, was an excellent showcase of new writing emerging from Yorkshire and specifically the pen of Julie Bokowiec.