The Take Away:
- Beautiful use of an interesting space and simple but well-executed use of design
- Live and freshly composed music by the fantastic Dan Ison
In My Pockets
This is the first Tiny Dynamite show I’ve seen in years, and I had one beer with the show.
Lovely live music by Dan Ison was not too demanding and avoided straying towards a wannabe cinematic vibe, which live scoring can do.
The Headhouse cafe is a really interesting space and the presence of so many tables is a challenge that Sarah Outing overcame really well by having three separate playing spaces that allowed Lee Minora to travel through the audience; I especially loved the use of the bar as playing space. Props also helped Minora transition more easily among multiple characters, not all written fully
KC Macmillan’s ability to effortlessly bring together so many different production values is really admirable. From a difficult space to live music to a single actor, everything was incorporated seamlessly.
The first fifteen minutes swam by effortlessly (no pun intended) but when it became clear that the second attempt of swimming the English channel was the focus of the dramatic arc of the play I was a bit disappointed, especially because some of Gleitze’s accomplishments after that, which sounded really interesting and unusual were skimmed over. The second attempt wasn’t quite a strong enough dramatic choice for the emotional peak of the show.
The use of the author in the play to explain the importance of Gleitze’s story left me feeling a bit like it was more of a therapeutic effort; the fact that explanation was needed seemed to weaken the feeling of necessary content.
Lee Minora was clearly more than up to the task of a one person show.
This is a play about a woman who persisted, though I was surprised there was almost no mention of her particular struggle as a female swimmer.
Art of Swimming isn’t a challenging play to watch, as might be expected from Tiny Dynamite, whose work tends to be thought provoking. It’s definitely a white woman’s story that doesn’t even touch on race or class (the closest being discussion of her experience as a German born English citizen in times of war with Germany) which right now can feel tunnel vision. Still, Ison’s presence and Outing’s design made the work feel more inclusive, as their contributions widened the perspective.