Award-winning new musical RIDE, charting one woman’s radical act and exploring the lies we tell to escape ourselves, gears up for its first full production at London’s Charing Cross Theatre from 25 August to 17 September 2022 (press night is 31 August).
RIDE was nominated for Best Musical Theatre Book Writing in the 2022 Writers Guild Awards. An earlier try-out was named VAULT Festival Show of the Week and won an Off West End OFFCOM Award. The title song was nominated for the 2020 Stiles and Drewe Best New Song Prize.
It’s 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?
Freya Catrin Smith, who has written the new musical with Jack Williams, says: “What drew me to Annie Londonderry was not just her incredible cycling feat, but her knotty, flawed, and captivating character. She is exactly the type of woman I want to see represented on stage, and I can’t wait to share her journey with London audiences.”
Director Sarah Meadows is joined in the creative team by designer Amy Jane Cook, movement director/choreographer Natasha Harrison, musical director Sam Young, orchestrator Macy Schmidt, lighting designer Jamie Platt, sound designer Andy Johnson and assistant director Olivia Munk.
Meadows is excited to be bringing the historical character of Annie Londonderry to life with the help of this brilliant team, as she explains:
“It’s a frustratingly classic case of an incredible woman buried in the depths of history. This story feels so contemporary with an inspiring and radical person at its heart, which speaks so potently to us today. We can’t wait to share it with audiences.”
And producers DEM Productions are particularly proud to be showcasing the very best of British musical theatre writing with this world premiere production of Freya Catrin Smith and Jack Williams’ “exceptional show” RIDE.
“We’re proud to be boldly bringing new stories to audiences again, continuing DEM’s long tradition of delivering outstanding productions that challenge, subvert and entertain in equal measure.
“With an exceptional cast which represents the best of new musical theatre talent in London, under the leadership of the brilliant Sarah Meadows, we’re delighted to be embarking on the next chapter of RIDE’s journey.”
Freya Catrin Smith (music book and lyrics) is an award-winning composer and lyricist, focusing on telling female-led stories. Her work with writing partner Jack Williams (as Bottle Cap Theatre) includes RIDE (VAULT Festival sell-out and award winner 2020); The Limit (VAULT Festival sell-out and award winner 2019), and song-cycle Part A (Edinburgh Fringe sell-out show). In 2021 Freya was a joint winner of The Chamber Musical Price developed by Adam Lenson and Katy Lipson and she was awarded a prestigious MGC Futures Bursary.
Jack Williams (music book and lyrics) is an award-winning composer and lyricist. His musicals, co-written with Freya Smith, include RIDE (winner of VAULT Festival’s Show of the Week Award), The Limit (winner of VAULT Festival’s People’s Choice Award and Origins Award for Outstanding New Work) and Part A (Edinburgh Fringe Festival sell-out show). He was a finalist for the Cameron Mackintosh Composer Residency, the Stiles and Drewe Best New Song Prize and the MTI Mentorship Award. In 2021, Jack was a joint winner of The Chamber Musical Prize developed by Adam Lenson and Katy Lipson.
Sarah Myott-Meadows is a multi-award-winning director. Credits include: Blithe Spirit, associate to Richard Eyre (Theatre Royal Bath, West End, UK tour); radio drama series Props, with National Prison Radio; How Sweet The Sound (Salisbury Playhouse); One Jewish (Trafalgar Studios, West End/tour 2023); Bricks (The Old Vic, Shoreditch Town Hall, currently developing into a musical with composer and MD Michael Henry); Screwed (Theatre 503); Where Do Little Birds Go? (UK Tour/Edinburgh Festival); Mr Incredible (Edinburgh); You (UK tour/Brighton Festival); The Very Perry Show (San Francisco International Arts Festival); The Crypt Project (The Lowry/The Library Theatre, Manchester); Remember Me (Contact Theatre, Manchester/UK tour); Pig (The Vaults); Nadya (The Park Theatre); Ile La Wa’ (Rich Mix/UK tour); The Fear Of Fear (Warwick Arts Centre.
Liv Andrusier (Annie Londonderry) is a 2021 graduate from the Royal Academy of Music. During the pandemic, Liv was selected to star in the ‘Play In A Day’ initiative for Sky Arts, produced by Young Vic artistic director Kwame Kwei-Armah and filmed at Alexandra Palace. This gave two recent graduates the chance to rehearse and perform a new play – in a single day – alongside Maria Friedman and Tyrone Huntley. Since graduating she appeared in Little Women (Park Theatre).
Yuki Sutton (Martha) graduated from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in 2021. Her theatre credits include The Poison Belt (Jermyn Street Theatre), Tsunagu/Connect Live (Shoreditch Town Hall), Jack and the Beanstalk (Beck Theatre), and Tokyo Rose (Southwark Playhouse and UK tour).
Amy Parker (Alternate Annie/Cover Martha) trained at Rose Bruford College of Theatre & Performance and The Royal Academy of Music, where she received the Ian Fleming award and a full Elton John scholarship. Theatre credits include ‘Tokyo Rose’ (UK tour, including MAST Southampton and Southwark Playhouse); ‘Ride’ (Vaults Festival); Nat in ‘Dancing By Myself’ (King’s Head Theatre) and The Actress in ‘Hello Again’ (Union Theatre).
RIDE runs at the Charing Cross Theatre, The Arches, Villiers Street London WC2N 6NL from 25 August 2022 to 17 September 2022, Monday to Saturday at 7.30pm, Wednesday and Saturday matinees at 2.30pm. Running time is 90 minutes (no interval) and age guidance is 10-plus. Prices range from £20. Box office: 08444 930650.