Power of water play's Coventry première

Published: 14 March 2024
Reporter: Steve Orme

“Witty, warming and heartfelt story”: Swim, Aunty Swim!

A “poetic story of friendship, loss, sisterhood, motherhood and the sublime power of water”, Swim, Aunty, Swim! by Siana Bangura is to have its world première at the Belgrade Theatre, Coventry.

Director Madeleine Kludje said, “I’ve been waiting to direct a play that has older, West African women at the heart of the story and as main characters onstage. This follows three incredible women on a journey to finding themselves at crucial moments in their lives, with swimming and friendship guiding and sometimes pushing them towards healing and rebirth.

“This is a witty, warming and heartfelt story that we can all relate to about rediscovering who we are after difficult moments in our lives.”

The play features Fatu, who is in search of a new life and a fresh start. Leaving London behind, she makes her way to Coventry where she forms a friendship with fellow members of her new church, Aunty Blessing and Aunty Ama. This “fiery, entertaining and sharp-witted duo of West African women in their prime” are also navigating changes and transitions in their lives.

Anni Domingo will play Fatu and Sam Baker-Jones will be Danny. Further casting is to be announced.

A Belgrade Theatre production in association with tiata fahodzi, Swim, Aunty, Swim! will have set design by Claire Winfield, costume design by Naomi Thompson, lighting design by Ryan Joseph Stafford, sound design by Duramaney Kamara, movement direction by Gaby Nimo, dramaturgy by Chinonyerem Odimba and production management by Adrian Sweeney.

Swim, Aunty, Swim! will run in the Belgrade’s B2 auditorium from Monday 20 May until Saturday 1 June.

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