When not out cycling with the Newbury Road Club, Cassie Friend is a successful writer, performer and artistic director of her own theatre company RedCape. This Spring, she is delighted to be bringing her new show, On Track, to a theatre near you. As an NRC member, you can enjoy an exclusive discount on the Newbury Corn Exchange performance on Tuesday March 7th.
But first, cast your mind back…
“March 2020. Kit is a resourceful working mother of two who thrives in a fast-paced world, but when lockdown hits, her world shrinks. With the walls closing in, two wheels become her sanctuary, and her escape.”
Cassie’s new play draws on true stories and using RedCape Theatre's trademark blend of comedy and visual, physical theatre, On Track follows Kit's journey of discovery through the history of women's cycling. The audience follow Kit’s journey of discovery through the shocking history of women’s cycling. Riding at night, disguised as men, these cycling pioneers powered over Victorian ideals of the genteel, house-bound woman and opened up new worlds.
On Track is showing at the Corn Exchange Newbury at 19:45 on Tuesday March 7th. Full Price tickets are £16.25 but Club Members can use the Code CYCLECLUB at checkout to secure and exclusive £5 discount on those tickets.
Life imitates art
It is sometimes said life imitates art, but often they are intertwined. On Track will chime with the experience of our own Women’s Ride Group, exploring the effects that isolation, particularly during the COVID lockdown, can have on mental health. The play demonstrates how a simple bicycle can become a vehicle to freedom. It was during this time that Cassie teamed up with the tiny cohort of NRC female members to establish the NRC Women’s Rides Group. The rest, as they say is history, as their rides became a favourite fixture in the ride schedule, women’s membership at NRC grew to 30% and the Club was awarded West Berkshire Community Group of the Year Award in 2021.
Third time lucky
Sadly the path to bringing On Track to performance has not been quite smooth. The show was originally scheduled to run outdoors at Palmer Park Velodrome, with Cassie performing, but she got COVID and the show was postponed. It finally opened indoors at the Hexagon in May 2021 but, five minutes into the opening night, Cassie fell and was only able to complete the first performance. Third time lucky, this new version is specifically made for indoor theatres and is directed by Cassie from the safety of a director’s chair!
"[The bicycle] has done more to emancipate women than anything else in the world. It gives women a feeling of freedom and self-reliance. I stand and rejoice every time I see a woman ride by on a wheel"
Susan B Anthony, Women’s Rights Activist, 1896
The NRC Women’s Ride Group is closing the gender gap in cycling, has been widely embraced by local women and is a huge boost to local cycling. To take part or find out more about the Newbury Road Club Women’s Ride Group at: