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REVIEW - Spin (Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2023)

Updated: May 26

Spin by Kate Sumpter - review


Gilded Balloon Patter Hoose

August 2023


SPIN is a play performed on a spin bike. Yes, really! The actor actually does spend much of her time pedalling. The staging is brilliant with the bike front and centre backed by a massive, glossy 'SPIN' sign and lighting reminiscent of any high tech gym studio.

As the audience enters, the whole set up is intriguing. The lighting by Robbie Butler is striking and perfectly managed. The high-energy workout music is thumping, and right from the start, writer / performer Kate Sumpter gets the audiences motivated and ready for the ride.

Ostensibly a light-hearted show about fitness, SPIN soon takes a few unexpected twists and turns. It's dark and clever, funny yet sad. SPIN is ultimately a journey of self discovery for the lead character, but it also forces the audience to think about their own preconceptions of body image and 'health'.

Sumpter is magnificent in the role of the enthusiastic Spin Class instructor who faces a few bumps in the road. Although some of what the character says and believes can sound a little harsh, it's well balanced with examples of the harm such language can cause. Sharp humour runs through the play, and Sumpter's delivery and comic-timing are superb.

SPIN shines a light on society's prejudices and the toxic fitness industry as a whole. But it also highlights the impact that our words and actions can have on those around us. It's a fascinating concept for a play, expertly presented and delivered by a very skilled (and fit!) performer.


Kate Sumpter comments, I wrote SPIN to show the ridiculous and insidious sides of the industry, and how impossible it can be to feel happy in an image-obsessed society. I have watched people I love suffer horribly because they have a body that society deems unacceptable or inconvenient. Managing a gym in London I saw how pervasive fatphobia and health bias really are. SPIN aims to pop that bubble with humour, vulnerability and an unflinching examination of ugly truths.

When and Where?

Performance Dates: Wed 2nd – Sun 27th August (not 9th, 21st), 14:20

Relaxed performance: 15th August

Running Time: 60 minutes

Location: Gilded Balloon Patter Hoose (Dram), 3 Chambers Street, EH1 1HT

Notes: Ages 14+

Strong language and distressing or potentially triggering themes.


About Spin

Writer/Performer: Kate Sumpter

Director: Sarah Jane Schostack

Set/Costume Designer: Lee Newby

Fitness Director: Joe Ferris

Lighting Designer: Robbie Butler

Sound Designer: Jamie Lu


Spin by Kate Sumpter - review, Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2023

🎟️ Disclosure: I am an Edinburgh Festival Fringe accredited media reviewer and as such I receive complimentary press tickets in exchange for my honest reviews. My reviews and star ratings are always my honest opinions.

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Lisa in the theatre, theater, reviews, blog, Scotland, Scottish


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