Review: Ventoux reaches the peaks at Harlow Playhouse

Entertainment / Sat 22nd Sep 2018 at 05:35pm

Friday September 21st

VENTOUX tells the story of the epic cycling battle between Lance Armstrong and Marco Pantani.

It is not every day that you arrive in the main theatre of the Harlow Playhouse to be met by two cyclists warming up on the stage.

Infact the play, among many other things is testament to the fitness of Matthew Seager (Pantani) and Alexander Gatehouse (Armstrong).

The two-hander takes us through their lives, their motivation and their personalities. The large screen shows film of the ascent up the Mountain. It is a sparse but effective set with the bikes as props, as bikes but also emotional motifs.

The story is a challenge as most will know that Armstrong was stripped of all his Tour De France victories and Pantani had drug problems on and off the bike that ended in his death in a hotel room.

The pair don’t bother with accents but accentuate the story, the complexities and are brutally honest with the drugs including scenes of both taking blood transfusions like energy gels.

This is a thought-provoking and powerful production that left the audience with plenty to reflect upon. It was a tremendous piece of physical theatre that will stay long in the memory. Oh and they played Kraftwerk

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