Marco R+D. Testing height and crashing at The Royal Shakespeare Company rehearsal rooms, 2015.

Marco R+D. Testing height and crashing at The Royal Shakespeare Company rehearsal rooms, 2015.

Marco (Current Title), By Simon Jones, Directed by James Blakey, in collaboration with Upstart Theatre.

Marco started it's life in 2013 after I read a book on doping in the sport of cycling. At the same time I watched a film called A Happy Man by Jonas Mekas. The themes of memory that sprung out made me think of my family, and the competition themes in the book, The Secret Race, by Tyler Hamilton, made me think of memories of competition in my family. I wanted to create a piece of theatre with dance that aimed a knife at these memories of mine and see what was inside. What was it I wanted to share.

I then read The Death of Marco Pantani, by Matt Rendell. This epic greek tragedy of a hero in the cycling world and fairly unknown outside of it. I invited James Blakey to help me make a show that took all this stuff and turn it into something to share. Something for you:

 

Production stills from Shoreditch Town Hall, July 2017.

 

Simon Jones in collaboration with Upstart presents

MARCO

Performed by Simon Jones
Directed by James Blakey
Co-Created by Hannah Sibai
Creative Producer Tom Mansfield

Supported by ARC

In 1998, while Marco Pantani was winning the Tour de France, Simon was grazing his knee in a race with his brother on second-hand bikes.  Six years later, Marco died. Disgraced in a doping scandal, he locked himself in a hotel room and killed himself with a massive overdose of cocaine.

Tonight, armed only with an inflated sense of his own ability and his junior cycling proficiency badge, Simon sets out to do justice to the epic story of his hero. Marco was an ordinary kid who became an icon. Yes, OK, he was also a cheat. But if you’d been programmed since childhood to win at all costs, wouldn’t you have done the same?

There will be winning. And losing. There will be stories, and music, and dancing. There will be a lot of drugs. And, in the end, there will be death. Marco is an explosively physical solo show about what it means – and what it takes – to succeed.

Image used for the poster, 2017.

Image used for the poster, 2017.

Marco R+D. Testing height and crashing at The Royal Shakespeare Company rehearsal rooms, 2015.

Marco R+D. Testing height and crashing at The Royal Shakespeare Company rehearsal rooms, 2015.