The Art of Swimming, written and performed by Irish writer Lynda Radley, revolves around the life of the long-distance swimmer, Mercedes Gleitze, the first British woman to swim the English Channel in fifteen hours, fifteen minutes. A heroic feat. One of the many long-distance swimming marathons she was to achieve.
To develop an endurance of such tortuous conditions, the bitter cold, the pain, the body and mind has to adapt, learn how to pace. So too does a production. A monologue is a challenging theatrical experience for the audience as well as the performer.
It is easy for one’s attention to wander when watching a solo performance and so the script has to be engaging. It has to metaphorically rock and roll.
In the Art of Swimming there are times when the monologue appears monotonous, and more could have been made of the set to simulate an ocean stretching to infinity.
However, Lynda Radley’s writing and acting ultimately engages us in this compelling story of a forgotten heroine who through training, trying and tenacity achieves the most remarkable feats.
Dates: August 3 - 11