Very interesting sounding event starting at the Govanhill Baths this weekend.
Lifeguard is an intimate and immersive theatrical experience about human beings and their relationship to water and swimming. Taking place in the disused teaching pool of the Govanhill Baths from 5 to 27 October 2012, the audience will have the opportunity to enter into a multi-sensory poolside encounter with their own ‘lifeguard’. Through the narrative of a relationship between a lifeguard and a swimmer, the audience’s complex and ambiguous relationship with water is explored. A young man, under the guidance and encouragement of an experienced, older man, is taught to overcome his fear of water and to swim. However, just when the young man might be tempted to think he's untouchable, something happens which changes the lifeguard and swimmer’s lives irrevocably. Lifeguard is an intimate performance for a small audience with live performance by Adrian Howells (the lifeguard) and Ira Mandela Siobhan (the swimmer) ; movement and physical 'score' by Jane Mason; soundscape and music by Nichola Scrutton, lighting by Mike Brookes; and original film projected onto the bottom of the pool by Minty Donald and Nick Millar. The dramaturg for lifeguard is Rob Drummond. Lifeguard explores how vital and life-affirming swimming is as a life-saving, and health-promoting activity and how emotionally and psychologically 'therapeutic' water is. It also explores how water can be life-threatening and how much we fear it.
Govanhill Baths, a Edwardian swimming pool and wash house, was closed 11 years ago and is now looked after by Govanhill Baths Community Trust whose aim is to preserve and conserve the baths for the public benefit. The National Theatre of Scotland and The Arches are reinstating the training pool for the purpose of this production. The production will also include other swimmers, some of who will have learned to swim in Govanhill Baths during the course of rehearsals.
An exhibition entitled Water Water Everywhere will also be on display in the baths for the duration of lifeguard. This installation has been created by the local community, including St Bride's Primary School, Cuthbertson Primary School and Govanhill Voices community choir, working with the National Theatre of Scotland.
Adrian Howells says: "Since my childhood I have always been strangely drawn to, and fascinated by, swimming pools. I love swimming and the sensation of my body being buoyed up by the water and I find it thrilling to watch other bodies - diving, cutting through the surface and especially moving underwater, always graceful in their suspension. I'm intrigued by the fact that swimming is such a solitary pursuit, but we're so often doing it surrounded by other people, constantly part of a transient community. And I'm attracted to the layers of paradox that co-exist within the environment of a public pool: they contain ideas of both public and private behaviour; they're intended as centres of pleasure and abandonment, yet they're also places which are highly regulated and sanitised; they promote a celebration of life and living, yet the risk of drowning and death is an ever pervasive threat. Hence the need for, and constant presence of, a vigilant lifeguard. The full creative team is Jane Mason, choreographer; Nichola Scrutton, composer; Mike Brookes – lighting designer and Minty Donald and Nick Millar, film-makers; Rob Drummond, dramaturg.
Dates and Times: 5 to 27 October (no Sunday performance) at 19.30pm
Matinees: Saturday 20th & 27th at 2.30pm Ticket Prices: £12 full/£9 concs and previews (5th & 6th October)
Further info: www.nationaltheatrescotland.com and www.govanhillbathstrust.com
*limited capacity production so early booking is encouraged
Audience info: Audience members may get wet. They will be invited to change into their swimsuit or other appropriate poolside clothes prior to the performance. They will be provided with a clean t-shirt, towel and flip-flops. Safe, secure changing rooms are available and staffed during the performance. Changing facilities are available from 7pm. Audiences are asked to arrive in good time to change ready for a 7.30pm start. Valuables/bags/coats etc will need to be left with an attendant in the changing room and will be supervised at all times. Latecomers can’t be admitted. Lifeguard is suitable for everyone 12 plus.