By Jeff Michel

10 - 19 March 2016 at 8pm
Theatre Royal Backspace

Developed in The Cowshed, Blue Cow’s plays-and-playwrights development program.

World Premiere production.

Jeff Michel is a movie buff who, by his own admission, has for years packaged-up and paralleled his life in an idealised cinematic world. Loosely autobiographical, "Pedaling Back" sifts through memories of his teenage years, when his passion for the movies clouded his ability to cope in the real world of adolescence. The most reliable constant in Jeff's childhood was his friend Elle, who kept him grounded. Jeff first noticed Elle because she rode a rusty, decrepit bicycle. Their friendship grew when he repaired the light on her bike. They would cycle together to the movie-theatre. But then - and this is a true story - Elle was murdered. Her abandoned bicycle was found on the roadside ... and her body eventually located in bushes nearby. Jeff explores - with humour and theatricality - the puzzlement of a young person facing the trials of adolescence and the realities of mortality.


Jeff Michel


Direction and Lighting Design Frank Newman
Co-Director Melissa King
Dramaturg Peter Matheson
Composer/ Sound Design Matthew Fargher
Lighting Design / Stage Manager Andrew MacDonald
Design Assistant Bryony Geeves
Prop Design / Construction Greg Methe
Publicity & Front of House John Xintavelonis
Graphic Design Karen Kluss 


“Blue Cow Theatre’s playwright development lab is bearing fruit. Writer/ performer Jeff Michel’s coming of age tale is the first of a number of new works by the Hobart based actors’ company. It is a very auspicious beginning – Pedalling Back has all the hallmarks of an instant classic.

“Set amongst the movie houses, high school corridors and middle class dens of his hometown state of Ohio, USA, Michel tells a funny, wistful, and ultimately very moral story of one young man’s getting of wisdom.  It is also very much an actor’s tale - Michel the veteran performer asks us more than once to reflect on the nature of stories (and storytellers). “Everything I am going to tell you may or may not be true – but it is real”.

“First up director Mel King with co – director Frank Neuman, have created the perfect frame for Michel’s playful, highly physical performance style. Matthew Fargher’s pop culture sound mash up richly evokes both the period and the world of the play. Michel’s superb technique allows him as he must, to turn his play on a pin. 

“It is a rare experience to encounter a new play by a first up writer, delivered by a team of artists with such confidence and joy. Pedalling Back is a triumph and a rich endorsement of a professional theatre culture investing in the long term development of writers.” – The Mercury