Thursday, 23 February 2017

Preview: Ventoux at Washington Arts Centre

Ventoux – Legendary Bike Race brought to the Stage
Washington Arts Centre
Thursday 16th March 2017

Ventoux, a restaging of the dramatic Tour de France race between Lance Armstrong and Marco Pantani, comes to Arts Centre Washington on Thursday 16th March, 7.30pm as part of the Sunderland Stages programme.

In 2000, two giants of cycling climbed Mont Ventoux in a dramatic battle to win stage 12 of the Tour de France: Lance Armstrong, who went on to win the Tour and a further five in the years that followed before being stripped of his titles, and Marco Pantani, who never raced in the Tour again and died of an overdose four years later.

Performed with two road bikes, real race commentary and stunning film footage captured by the company as they cycled up Mont Ventoux, 2Magpies Theatre have recreate the 60 minute conflict with all the benefit of hindsight, charting the parallels of their early careers and the stark split in fortunes following the race.

Mont Ventoux has become legendary in the Tour de France as one of the most grueling climbs in the race and has a history which has inspired a solemn reverence of the ‘Giant of Provence’, from the death of English cyclist Tim Simpson 50 years ago to the spectacular crash last year which left eventual winner Chris Froome jogging several hundred yards until he could get a replacement bike. Tributes are still left to Tim Simpson on the mountain side.

Artistic director of 2Magpies Theatre Tom Barnes said, “I really got into cycling in a big way in 2012 when Bradley Wiggins won the Tour de France, and I began to look back through some of the greatest races and came across the 2000 Tour de France and Armstrong and Pantani. The way the story played out is so theatrical in itself that it seemed perfect for retelling on stage with this new angle of hindsight. We've had a lot of cycling fans come and see it – it's brilliant to see."

2Magpies Theatre is a Nottingham based company who explore topical and political issues. It was founded by Tom Barnes and Matt Wilks, who graduated with MAs in International Security and Terrorism in 2013. Their previous show, The Litvinenko Project explored the poisoning of the Russian dissident, and their next show, Last Resort about the detention of terror suspects at Guantanamo Bay, will premiere at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Ventoux comes to Arts Centre
Washington on Thursday 16 March, 7.30pm as part of the Sunderland Stages programme.  Tickets are from £6 and are available from or by calling 0191 561 3455.

National Tour 2 Mar to 28 May
North East dates…

4 Mar                                     Seaton Delaval Arts Centre
                                                Blyth St, Seaton Delaval, Whitley Bay NE25 0DY
                                                Times and prices TBC
                                        | 0191 237 5460

10 Mar                                   Saltburn Community Theatre
                                                Albion Terrace, Saltburn-by-the-Sea TS12 1JW
                                                7.30pm | £10
                                        | 01287 624 997

16 Mar                                   Arts Centre Washington, Sunderland
                                                Biddick Ln, Washington NE38 8AB
                                                7.30pm | £8.50
                                        | 0191 219 3455

18 Apr                                   Alnwick Playhouse, Northumberland
                                                Bondgate Without, Alnwick NE66 1PQ
                                                7.30pm | Pay What You Decide
                                        | 01665 510 785

Supported by Arts Council England Strategic Touring funding, and made with support from Curve (Leicester), Nottingham Lakeside Arts, The Castle (Wellingborough) and New Perspectives

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