SWIM theatre show opens at Edinburgh Fringe

05th August, 2019

SWIM by dramatist, actor and outdoor swimmer Liz Richardson has begun its run at the Edinburgh Fringe. The play explores one woman’s experience of grief while discovering outdoor swimming and a sense of community. During its residency, Liz and others working on the show will be holding a series of dips at the nearby Portobello promenade.

Richardson grew up swimming in rivers and reacquainted herself it after a long period of illness whilst living in London. “I got myself a copy of Kate’s Wild Swim when it came out 10 years ago and took myself off on mini trips out of London, ticking off the lists of swims as a way to immerse myself in that world again,” she says. 

When she re-located to the Peak District five years ago, she began swimming outdoors again in earnest, and there began the groundwork for SWIM.

“I was invited to join a group of early morning dippers and that’s when I started being intrigued by the community of open water swimmers,” says Richardson. “People had stories to tell in the water, reasons they needed the water, reasons to be together. A year after the deaths of my friend’s niece and nephew  and during a time that I noticed my friend increasingly finding solace in open water swimming, [I thought] how can the two passions in my life the outdoors and the arts, exist in a theatre?”

The result is SWIM, which is at the Pleasance Courtyard until 31st August (not the 13th) at 3.30pm. The show is supported by Cruse Bereavement Care, the Outdoor Swimming Society, Arts Council England Lottery Funding, and HOME theatre Manchester.