SPIN, Gilded Balloon Patter Hoose (Dram), Review

SPIN - 3 hearts canvas and Kate Sumpter
Rating (out of 5)
Show info
3 hearts canvas and Kate Sumpter.
Kate Sumpter (writer), Sarah Jane Schostack (director), Lee Newby (set / costume designer), Joe Ferris (fitness director), Robbie Butler (lighting designer), Jamie Lu (sound designer).
Kate Sumpter.
Running time

Right here, right now, let’s take control of your life; don’t take no for an answer.

Picking up pace and moving between positions on her exercise bike our fitness instructor amps up the bpm of the music but is disappointed to mess up the beat drop for her trademark “Let’s ride!”.

Being perfect is something that’s important to her, it’s her religion and all her faith is placed in that one day she will be here true self, fit, happy and hot.

She has an audition with a world class flagship fitness studio, the Superbowl of spin where she could be part sports star, part influencer – she just needs a great backstory.

Her own story emerges as that of a nerd with family fuelled weight issues and feelings of guilt and self-loathing only treated by the drug of spin.

The fitness studio might be a dungeon like space, but at least we know we won’t be alone.  In spin class she can see real people, their performance reflected in the ubiquitous mirrors, exercise tearing away the mask of the narcissistic Barbie gym bunnies and Bros, or the sad cardio girl.  It’s a place where you can actually see change, not the present pain but the future glory.

But when her dreams become nightmares, she feels her faith tested, a bottomless pit opening, and this might just be an unforgiving hell partly of her own making.  But how can something so healthy, so unrelentingly positive hurt anyone?

It’s cleverly constructed with a terrific performance capturing the evangelical schtick of the trainer perfectly while offering darkly comic moments through her quirky vulnerabilities, all aided by high production values.

The show pedals a particular view but it’s a thought provoking and absorbing questioning of body image and an industry that commoditises the vicious cycle of chasing an impossible dream.


Show times: 2 – 27 August (not 9, 21) 2023 at 2.20pm. (Relaxed performance 15)

Tickets: £12 (£11) to £13 (£12).

Suitability: 14+ (contains strong language and distressing or potentially triggering themes).