The Drive

‘A touching physical whirlwind full of quirky humour and high energy. The Drive breathes youth and humanity into the frumpy 40-something, middle-aged image, while maintaining a genuine truth.’

Two women. A fractured friendship. A car full of boxes and a message from a dead friend.

The Drive recounts an unexpected Nordic road trip which sees two estranged friends thrown together on a tense journey from London to Oslo. The further Becky and Nat get from home the closer they come to confronting the demons of their shared past.

Nat’s life hasn’t turned out quite how she expected it to. She doesn’t do ‘packing light’ but she enjoys a bit of hot yoga. Becky seems to have it all. Designer clothes and a high powered job. They were best friends. They haven’t talked for over 10 years. Now they’re going to be stuck in a car together for 48 hours.

Spliced through with humour, slick physicality, an original contemporary soundtrack and video projection, The Drive is a show about friendship, grief, the fragility of memory, turning 40 and coming of age in the 1990s.

‘Fast and neat, dramatic, moving and humourous.’

We felt there was a need to create a piece of work with two women at its centre. A show in which female friendship was at the foreground of the storytelling. We were also interested in the reconstructive nature of memory and how in the process of remembering we create our own versions of the stories which shape us. The use of video projection reflects the content stylistically and adds to the idea that our personal narratives are constructed in the same way that a film is edited and framed; a notion that the writing also explores,” explain co-artistic directors Lynne Forbes and Tamsin Fessey. “Guilt and grief has created fissures in the characters’ friendship and this has seen them fall out of touch with each other. The drive across Europe at their dead friend’s behest provides an intense and sometimes comical setting for the show to look at the complexities of female friendship, how we deal with guilt and grief and ultimately forces Becky and Nat to deal with an event in their shared past that neither has really come to terms with.

‘A dramatic, fourth-wall-breaking story of friendship and memory. Visually stunning and thought-provoking.’

Written, directed and performed by Tamsin Fessey and Lynne Forbes and created with devising and directorial support from Caroline Garland and Hannah Boyde. Design by Yoon Bae, original music by Tom Ball, dramaturgical support by Nell Leyshon, video design by Elliot Manches, set building and stage management by Matthew Llewellyn Smith, lighting design by Zoe Spurr.

The Drive completed a short preview tour in the South West in the Summer of 2017 before being performed at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. The show then toured in Spring 2018. Venues included Farnham Maltings, Mercury Theatre Colchester, The Wardrobe Theatre, Bristol, The Spring Arts and Heritage Centre, Havant, Stamford Arts Centre, Quay Arts, Newport IOW, and Lighthouse Poole.

The Drive was produced in association with Lighthouse, Poole’s Centre for the Arts. The production has received funding from Arts Council England, Borough of Poole Culture Fund, West Dorset District Council, Activate, and Lighthouse, Poole’s Centre for the Arts.