Elaine Gallagher: The Freedom Machine
- Kelly Apter
- 24 August 2018
This article is from 2018
Enjoyable 'Edward Chat' about cycling and suffrage
The 'Machine' of the title is a bicycle, with Elaine Gallagher setting out her stall early by riding into the tiny venue on just such a vehicle. There's not much freedom to be found in the cramped space, but the scope of Gallagher's show is much bigger than her surroundings. The advent of the 'safety bike' in 1885 (far more user-friendly than the penny farthing that preceded it) gave woman an opportunity to travel alone safely: which makes the link Gallagher draws between cycling and suffrage far less tenuous than it initially appears.
Once off her saddle and grasping a mic, she warms up the crowd with a never-ending supply of bike puns. This gentle humour continues throughout, never really reaching laugh-out-loud funny but equally never falling short of engaging. Dressed in cycling shorts and hi-vis jacket, Gallagher is the real cycling deal, passionate about her twin specialist subjects to the point where she can deliver an 'Edward Chat' as she calls it (work it out) filled with historical info and archive photos.
If you're not already interested in either topic, it's unlikely that Gallagher's wordplay, references to Dublin slang or even her likeable manner will be enough to carry you through. But for those who share her fascination with cycling and / or the suffragette movement, it's an enjoyable 50-minute ride.
C royale, until 27 Aug, 2.30pm, £7.50–£9.50 (£3.50–£5.50)