Performed entirely on and with a spinning bike, Spin Cycles explores the processing and suppression of grief through the strange cult-like world of spin classes. Taking the theatricality of the Britney headsets and over-extroverted instructors, and combining it with the deep inner feelings of grief, Jamie-Lee Money’s Edinburgh debut looks at how we cope when we’ve been knocked sideways. We spoke to Jamie-Lee about the show, heading to Edinburgh Fringe this August.
Describe your show in five words or less!
Spinning, Grief & everything in between
Why did you want to perform with a spinning bike?
Spin class is a pretty visceral experience whether it’s your first time or your 50th, so it just felt like an interesting way to tell a story that is moulded mainly on thoughts and feelings from inside said spin class. The bike is a great way to create a space but is also malleable to be whatever we want it to be, a bed, the tube, anything really. I am also NOT a pro at spinning and that felt like a funny thing for audiences to watch.
What is the biggest challenge of performing a solo show?
I’ve always been fortunate to perform with other actors in a duo, trio or larger ensemble cast. You feel particularly held when you get onto stage with other performers and in a moment where the ball might drop, you know there will be someone else to pick it right back up if you can’t. When it’s just you on stage, you have no choice but to rely on yourself to keep that ball up. Which is both fun and daunting. Being the writer and performer the challenge is not being able to separate myself and my own opinions about the show as a whole but I’m working on it. I’m eating, breathing, sleeping Spin Cycles right now, and it’s pretty lonely once your team hands over the reins and you just have to ‘gooi’ (go for it) as we would say in South Africa. But with that all being said, the beauty of a solo show is it gets into your cellular structure and it just flows once the audience comes in and the lights are up.
What would you like the audience to take away from your show?
Everyone grieves, in every way, a loss of a loved one, a job, a home, a dream deferred. We don’t often talk about it and we think about grief in a linear way, but everyone’s grief is different. I learnt a lot about my own grief, anticipated grief and coping mechanisms (or lack thereof) during and after these experiences, which are ever changing. So I hope audiences come away feeling a little bit seen and a little bit closer to how we heal during and after death and beyond. I had a bizarre and cathartic experience at a spin class after my Pa died and my mum got cancer and I thought, well this is a play. So I hope if nothing else, I hope that there is at least a single moment that each audience member can go, ‘huh, yeah I’ve felt that, or been there…I feel seen’.
What are you most looking forward to about the Fringe?
I am so looking forward to the buzz, this will be my first time at the Fringe but I have heard the rumblings about how alive and fierce the energy is. I can’t wait to meet fellow theatre lovers and just soak it all up. I can’t believe it’s almost here!
Spin Cycles is at Pleasance Courtyard, Bunker Two, 2 – 28 August, 12.20pm: https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/spin-cycles