Martin Dockery: The Bike Trip isn’t in the 2018 Toronto Fringe Festival printed program because Dockery is replacing someone who withdrew their show. He already had another show in the festival, Inescapable, so he agreed to do this one as well.
I learned something today. You know how everything says that Fringe shows start exactly on time? They do. Somehow Dockery came on two minutes early. He realized immediately but stopped and said hi, chatted with the audience for about a minute and left the stage. He came back one minute later and started his show.
Dockery is a playwright, an actor and a storyteller. If you haven’t seen him perform, you should. He’s a kinetic dynamo; he never stops moving. His hands move, his arms move, he leans forwards and then back. He shifts from foot to foot. When he talks about riding a bike he looks like he’s riding bike.
I noticed it in the beginning but then the movement becomes part of the story.
The Bike Trip is the story of Dockery going to Switzerland and taking LSD to recreate a bicycle trip made by Albert Hofmann, the scientist who discovered it. On April 19, 1943 Hofmann ingested LSD and rode his bicycle from his lab to his home. He started feeling the effects of the drug on the way. He later wrote about it.
Dockery’s stories don’t progress in a straight line, so there’s no reason to expect that a story about a bicycle trip would be any different. The detours always tie back in to the main story though.
One of the diversions was about going to his first dance with his best friend. It was pretty typical. They lined up with the other boys against a wall and waited to not dance. I loved his description of how he always danced once at every dance with the same girl.
The story of his trip, and of Hofmann’s, is at times agonizing, at times hilarious, and at times touching. I cried a bit and laughed a lot along the way.
Dockery is a terrific storyteller and The Bike Trip is a terrific story. Well worth seeing.
- Martin Dockery: The Bike Trip plays at the Tarragon Theatre – Extraspace. (30 Bridgman Ave)
- Tickets are $13, including a $2 service charge. The festival also offers a range of money-saving passes and discounts for serious Fringers.
- Tickets can be purchased online, by telephone (416-966-1062), from the Festival Box Office at Scadding Court (707 Dundas St. W.), and — if any remain — from the venue’s box office starting one hour before curtain.
- Content Warning: 14 plus
- This venue is wheelchair-accessible.
- Be aware that Fringe performances always start exactly on time, and that latecomers are never admitted.
- 4th July, 8:00pm
- 6th July, 2:45pm
- 7th July, 10:45pm
- 8th July, 2:30pm
- 10th July, 6:15pm
- 13th July, 5:30pm
- 15th July, 5:30pm
Photo of Martin Dockery by Matthew Sarookanian