Fringe review: ‘The Bike Trip,’ Martin Dockery, New York, NY
By Elizabeth Maupin
Last year, Martin Dockery took Fringegoers on a journey across West Africa. This year’s journey is a trip of another kind – a expedition to another country, yes, but also one into the reaches of his own heart and mind. To say that The Bike Trip is mind-expanding is not doing it justice: It’s a thrilling exploration of community and self.
It’s also a good time, Dockery’s tale of traveling to Basel, Switzerland, to trace the path of Dr. Albert Hofmann, the chemist who discovered LSD and who, after taking an unintentionally large dose one day in 1943, was sent home from his office on an anxiety-ridden bicycle trip. But Dockery’s story isn’t just of following Hoffman’s bike tracks. It’s also the tale of a young man who hangs back from the crowd, who can’t commit himself completely to a relationship, who doesn’t speak the language, who feels left out. And it’s the very funny account of a man who notices things – who refers to a strange-looking family in Haight-Ashbury as “undead dreadheads,” who describes the experience of using an Indian outhouse so graphically – and hilariously – that you may scratch the entire subcontinent off your list.
Dockery’s also good at personifying the paranoia that he and Hofmann seem to have shared under the influence, and he’s a master at weaving together three or four seemingly unrelated threads. To call someone like him or TJ Dawe a storyteller somehow underplays their gifts. Call them spinners, because their stories make you spin.
Remaining shows: 8:10 p.m. Monday 5/24, 10:20 p.m. Friday 5/28, 2:10 p.m. Saturday 5/29, 3:25 p.m. Sunday 5/30. Silver venue.