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Print Version

NZ Fringe Festival 2013
Windy Performing Arts Ensemble (windyPAE)

at Bike Barn; 246 Wakefield Street (start) the Southern Cross, 35 Abel Smith St (end), Wellington
From 16 Feb 2013 to 17 Mar 2013
[2 hrs]

Reviewed by Hannah Smith, 16 Feb 2013

Wheels of Justice is a great concept for a show, and just the sort of thing that Fringe is all about. 

The audience are endowed as well meaning citizens who have come along for a ‘ride-a-long' with Wellington's new initiative ‘Cops on Bikes'.  Leaving from our meet point outside the Bike Barn we are split into three groups and embark on a murder investigation – by cycle.

There is a dizzying amount of crime going down in Wellington it seems, and conflict between street artists, carpark businesspeople and anarcho-punk cyclists has resulted in a series of unexplained deaths.  Location by location, interview by interview, we start to piece together the story and find the connections between missing town councillor Frank Middleman, dead street artist Rose, and the shady business dealings of Wellingtons car-parking elite. 

I won't give anything away but, needless to say, when we are all drawn back together in the final scene the guilty party is incriminated and then apprehended. Nice work Cops on Bikes! 

There are some logistical issues with the show. We start at least 30 mins late as organisers try to fit audience with appropriate bikes and helmets and it does seem a bit strange that we spend almost our entire ride dodging through pedestrians on busy sidewalks, at the suggestion of our ‘Cop'.  We could easily have covered the distance of the show on foot and one does think that if one is using a bike there ought to be a bit more actual biking involved.

The performances are not great, and the story is complicated and doesn't really hang together; the ‘rules of the game' are a bit unclear to us after the fuzzy and delayed start.  But the event itself is extremely enjoyable.  I like bikes; I like mysteries; I like murder; I like Wellington.  I had a really good time and I suggest that if you like these things you will have a good time too.  
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John Brennan posted 19 Feb 2013, 12:34 PM

I enjoyed the dress rehearsal for Wheels of Justice. Who knew Wellington had such an underbelly of alleys and characters? I'm glad I arrived with my own bike. It was fun to be on adventure in the CBD that wasn't focused on errands and shopping. Joining the Cops on Bikes took us zigging and zagging on streets, alleys and walkways. It was always fun to be part of and watch the story unfold.
People who are attending should have their own bikes or be clear that they have a rental reserved. It seems there are a limited number of rentals.