London's fringe circuit, crippled by heavy cuts to the Arts Council, is fighting back. Pop-up shows, site-specific theatre, open mic nights — the capital is currently jam-packed with creative treats for culture vultures to tuck into. The question is, with so much competition, how do you get noticed?
Sink or Shpin, opening tonight at Shoreditch's Boom! Cycle, may have found an answer. In the past few years a fitness fad named 'spinning' has gripped the nation. Spinning requires one to sit on an exercise bike in a dimly lit room full of other 'spinners', and peddle like your life depends on it for an hour while an instructor barks encouragement at you and techno music pumps incessantly. It's supposed to be fun.
The brains behind Sink or Shpin — director Josh Azouz and performer Donal Coonan — saw a gap in the market. Comedy, while spinning. The show debuted at the Edinburgh Festival in 2011, and now London will get to meet Clement and his beloved spin bike Brigitte.
You don't need to be Bradley Wiggins to partake in the performance. In truth you don't need to have any level of fitness at all. You can even take a beer in. The audience do sit on exercise bikes though, so you can at least kid yourself that you're burning calories as you laugh.
The show itself is about a newly qualified spinning instructor, Clement, who is trying to recover from a disastrous marriage. His best friend is Brigitte — an exercise bike — whom he clings to for salvation. Twisting from Clement's rage at his ex-wife to his own self-help recipe, Sink or Shpin promises to be a unique comic workout.
Sink or Shpin runs from October 10-27 at Boom Cycle, 2-8 Scrutton Street, EC2A 4RT. Go to the Sink or Shpin website for more information and to book ticket.