Fringe review: Three Men On A Bike

Sequel to Fringe hit Three Men In A Boat delivers a hilarious ride

THREE MEN ON A BIKE by Jerome K. Jerome, adapted by Mark Brownell (Pea Green Theatre Group/Fringe). At the Tarragon Mainspace. July 6 at 10 pm, July 8 at 8:45 pm, July 10 at 5:45 pm, July 11 at 2 pm, July 13 at 8 pm, July 14 at 2 pm. See listing. Rating: NNNN

This delightful sequel to Fringe 2014 hit Three Men In A Boat catches up with Victorian-era friends Jay (Matt Pilipiak), George (Victor Pokinko) and Harris (David DiFrancesco, replacing the earlier play’s Scott Garland) as they plan and execute a cycling trip through Germany. Of course, things go wrong, hilariously wrong.

Once again, Pilipiak’s Jay is our genial, energetic guide, and he’s got a few more pretensions to add to his lofty bag of self-importance, including a burgeoning interest in theatre. And in Mark Brownell‘s adaptation of Jerome K. Jerome‘s books, there are lots of meta-theatrical touches about sequels and audience expectations.

The set-up seems a bit long, but once the trip begins, highlights include: an extended sequence in which the gents get lost various encounters with the German police and an excruciating uphill bike ride, staged, like every scene, with maximum imagination by director Sue Miner. (Nice use of Albinoni’s Adagio, as well.)

The actors, looking dapper in Nina Okens‘s period costumes, get right into the silly spirit of things. They also get to do some sharp caricature work as minor characters, with Pokinko’s hunchbacked clerk like something out of Dickens.

And if you were wondering what happens to Jay’s canine friend, Montmorency, you’ll just have to buy a ticket. But do it soon. This show will likely sell out.


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