Old Bag Theatre Company are kicking 2017 off with the brilliantly poignant AIRSWIMMING by CHARLOTTE JONES. Performing at the Rondo Theatre from WEDNESDAY 1ST TO SATURDAY 4TH FEBURARY 2017, Airswimming, directed by Andy Cork and Co-Directed by Emma Firman, is a darkly funny story of two women and how they support each other through fifty years of incarceration in an institution.
“If you can keep your head while all about you are losing theirs…” In the early 20th century it was not unknown for women who didn’t fit in or who were different to be declared ‘moral imbeciles’ and shut in institutions, away from the rest of the world to spare their families the disgrace of their differences. Actor and playwright Charlotte Jones, whose play Humble Boy opened at the Royal National Theatre in 2001 and who created and co-wrote the ITV series The Halcyon, wrote Airswimming in 1997 after being inspired by a newspaper article of two such women, the real-life Miss Kitson and Miss Baker.
But how do you survive 50 years in St Dymphna’s Hospital for the Criminally Insane? How do you cope with the outside world when you are ‘released’, a world you no longer recognise? Dora and Persephone cling to each other, and take it in turns to support one another, through the years with humour, alter egos and a Doris Day wig.
This beautifully written play reminds us of the need to show compassion and understanding about the plight of our fellow human beings. Above all the play is entertaining, funny, surprising and moving.
The play is directed by Andy Cork, who brings a unique insight to the process. Andy trained as a professional actor and stage manager but now works in the mental health sector. Andy says: “I have been fortunate, if that is the right way of describing it, of working with women who have been through the experience of Dora and Persephone and I hope that I can bring my knowledge and understanding to the play as a result, and at the same time honour the experience of these women.”
Emma Firman, Co-director, brought the play to the attention of the Old Bags last year after hearing a version of it on Radio 4. Co-founders Charlotte Howard and Julie Butterworth immediately felt that it tied in perfectly with the aims of the Old Bags. Julie said: “AsOld Bags we aim to offer a platform for older women to develop confidence and self-worth and whilst most of us have not had to face the kinds of problems the characters in this piece have, we all know the fears and issues that often accompanies getting older in a society that favours the young.”
Tickets are £12/£10 concessions and are available online from Ticket Source https://www.ticketsource.co.
Please note that a theatre restoration levy of £1 per ticket applies to all transactions, whether made in person at our Box Office, by post or by phone, for all payment types. Telephone bookings incur an additional £1.50 booking fee per transaction.