I read this play was set for the baby-boomers and this was no lie. As the crowd rolled in all well in their 50s I wondered if the story of this play would fly over my head. But dreams, desires and questioning what am I doing or what if in life, are universal themes with no age barrier.
The Swimming Club is about six friends who met on the island of Lesbos in 1983.
And after a 25 year separation – and with marriage, divorce, cancer, mortgages sand children under their belts, they make a pact to meet again in Lesbos.
To relive a time when they were carefree, idealistic and footloose and swam in the darkness without fear.
Playwright Hannie Rayson does her best to convey each character’s mid-life crisis in short spurts of dialogue making it hard to connect with them and empathise with their plight.
Having said that, there are some great, witty one-liners peppered in the play that are shared by all characters, giving them a chance to connect with the audience through laughter.
John Waters shone in his performance of Dave, a man who spoke the truth and fought for his marriage.
A man who once was filled with spirit and hope, a man who lost it being the strong family man.
Nicholas Papademetriou’s portrayal of Nikos Nomikos was faultless. As a Greek-born gay man living and working in London, his struggle was being in love with Laura (Tina Bursill), so their reunion in Lesbos was filled with love and misunderstandings.
Kate Cherry as director covers the medium of travelling through time and space on stage with no props and gimics. She uses the actors; their tone and spirit changes as they transition from 2009 to 1983 and back to present time.
All in all, The Swimming Club was an honest look at life.
The play resonates with the audience through laughter as it talks about self-happiness and what it takes to get it in the middle part of your life. And can you get it?
The Swimming Club is at Sumner Theatre and ends March 14. For details go to the Melbourne Theatre Company www.mtc.com.au