Dr Julie Wilson-Bokowiec (CeReNeM research fellow) has been commissioned to write and produce a new work for theatre. A partnership production with the Lawrence Batley Theatre, Lost Boy Racer is funded by the Arts Council of England and Yorkshire Festival 2014: the first cultural festival to precede the Tour de France ‘Grand Départ’ in the race’s 111 year history. Lost Boy Racer is one of only 47 cultural events specifically commissioned to be part of the programme. The production is also part of Kirklees Council’s cultural offer and Harrogate Theatre’s mini festival: La Grande Fête.
The production will feature specially commissioned electro-acoustic music by Dr Mark Bokowiec (Huddersfield music department’s Studio Manager) and an extraordinary set made entirely of bicycle parts by artist Tim Tolkien, great-nephew of JRR Tolkien and a renowned British metal sculptor responsible for several monumental sculptures, including the award-winning Sentinel in Birmingham.
The production also features four venue-specific supporting community casts who will work alongside the professional company of actors on stage. The supporting company being formed at the Lawrence Batley is likely to include a range of performance students from the University.
‘Lost Boy Racer is a quirky comedy-drama as northern as they come. Once an energetic wildcat with two-wheel fever, Sean Racer is horrified to discover he’s become an overweight 40-something tax inspector facing a personal crisis. He hatches a plan to get his life back on track, a plan that involves him fulfilling his youthful dream to ride the Tour de France. With the help of a couple of colourful characters and a whole lot of Yorkshire grit, Sean sets up a bike on rollers in his shed and starts pedalling. The script has already been described as funny and poignant, bold and theatrically innovative. ‘
The production will open at the Lawrence Batley Theatre Huddersfield on 25th June before going on to The Lowry, Salford 28th & 28th, then to Harrogate Theatre 2nd – 4th July before closing at the Theatre Royal Wakefield 7th & 8th July.