In February I had the honour of being part of a small trial audience for the first ever performance of “Freedom Machine” by brand new Cambridge theatre company LiveCycle Theatre. As an inherently shy person, the intimacy of this inaugural occasion was compounded by the knowledge that this was to be just a two person show – performed, devised and developed by two of Cambridge’s celebrated young performers, Daisy Botha and Sam Williams. An intense experience was anticipated, and I wasn’t disappointed – for all the right reasons.
For 50 minutes the pair took the audience on a journey that skilfully meandered through the deep dark subjects of insecurity, lost ambitions and ultimately the pain of yearning freedom. From the innocent star-gazing of Abbey as a child, to her conflicted vulnerable adult self – who convincingly flipped into undercurrents of a more sassy Abbey – to the angst ridden James, who lost his love and chance at freedom as a child and remained haunted by the past. The interaction of these two misfits was enthralling, moving, and at times frightening. Although intense, I completely forgot the intimacy of the event and became utterly absorbed in their stories.
Laughter, however, was never far away, and the use of the bicycle as a metaphore for freedom and the tongue-in-cheek Tour de France references make “Freedom Machine” an important performance to repeat in Cambridge this summer.
With a small cast and no budget it is clear that both this show and LiveCycle Theatre need and deserve some real investment. I look forward to seeing them develop and will be the first to buy a ticket when the show goes public and starts touring!