Sink or Spin (4 stars)

This article is from 2011.

Sink or Spin

It’s gym life, but not as we know it

A site-specific comedy set in the working environs of Bannatyne’s Health Club (you even need to fill in a fitness form as you enter), you’ll spend most of Sink or Spin on an exercise bike in a distinctly unusual class taught by Clement (Donal Coonan). The situation demands a certain level of audience interaction and light exercise, so don’t be surprised by the odd trickle of sweat, but mercifully it’s definitely not a full work-out.

Any mild droplets you exude are worth the effort though, as there’s some wonderful absurdist physical comedy here including an inspired mounted dance routine, with Clement as one with his bike. But there’s more depth as we work a way though his ‘seven modules’, gaining ever more of insights into his tormented psyche. His wife has left him, the breakdown of his marriage matching the slippage of his sanity. To Clement, spin is akin to religion, his class a mix of self-help, philosophising and desperation.

As with the best comedy, there’s an element of realism to the show and Coonan presents a brilliantly constructed character. It’s an inspired set-up that really drags you in as you pedal away, making you complicit in the madness. Funny, thoroughly entertaining and wholly unique.

Bannatyne’s Health Club, 226 0000, until 29 Aug (not 17), 2.15pm, £9.50 (£8).

Sink or Spin

  • 4 stars

Exercise bikes provided for all participants. Join a spinning class set in the surreal world of your instructor, Clement (recently certified/newly divorced). Upon his wife leaving him for the boules champion of Perpignan, Clement decided to devote his life to becoming the world's greatest spin instructor (he can't ride a…

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