Back in September, Swim Network’s Mike Gustafson quipped about a possible script for a teen-centric swimming movie. The movie would surely be a hit with enough Seth-Rogan-esque humor.
But what about a more serious production about our sport? A dramatic introspective that would give the general population a better idea of the physical and mental struggles that it takes to build an elite swimmer? Now THAT would be something I would pay to see.
Luckily, if you live in the UK, you will soon be able to see just such a thing. From January 4th through January 28th, in London’s Bridewell Theater, Steve Waters’ Amphibians will bring just that experience to the live stage.
The play is based entirely on actual interviews that Director Cressida Brown did with Olympians: including Beijing open water bronze medalist Cassie Patten. The story will begin with three swimmers as 14-year olds, and discusses “The emotional struggle that lies beneath the surface of the Olympics.” It follows the athletes through competitions, training, and life during and after the Olympics, and disects the emotional toll that the sport takes on them.
The Bridewell Theater is the perfect setting for this story, as the facility used to be a swimming pool built during the Victorian Era. During the show, spectators will be seated in the balconies and in the shallow end of the pool.
The production will be put on by Offstage Theater, and is part of their larger “The Olympic Swimmer Project.” The projects official website describes the movement as follows:
“Offstage’s Olympic Swimmer Project is a pioneering collaboration between sport and art that will expose urban heritage, give voice to an athletic community, raise timely cultural issues and promote cross-cultural creativity through education. Part of the project is new play AMPHIBIANS by critically acclaimed playwright Steve Waters.”
This play feeds perfectly into the lead-up to the London Olympics and the coinciding boom in swimming interest that accompanies them. Hopefully it makes its way stateside for a tour at some point, as I’d definitely go and see it.