Airswimming (Abridged) is a play written by Charlotte Jones about two ladies in a London asylum. It stars Charlotte Jones (Dora/Dorph) and Julia Smith (Persephone/Porph) who also presented this drama. It is directed by John Moletress. Kudos, to the women for presenting this play at the Fringe!
The set was nicely done; unfortunately no set designer was given credit. It consisted of an antique washer, a couple of pails, stairs, a chest, a painting and a chair. Amy Cambell did a wonderful job adding music to the play as the sound operator. However, the best part of the play was the acting which was superb. Dora is a deviant locked up after her three brothers died in the war. Persephone is locked up for being promiscuous.
Back in the 1920s girls were locked up in institutions for being deviant, promiscuous, or other reasons. Many of these women were just victims of the time and were perfectly sane. The drama does bring attention to this and the newspaper article from 1972 in the program backs this up.
The play goes through the fifty years they were locked up. Some of the scenes of the girls polishing did get a bit redundant. I think the play would be better if the girls showed signs of aging. The ‘Doris Day’ moments with the wigs were humorous. However, the beautiful and heartwarming airswimming and dancing scenes showing the girls’ relationship as it strengthened over time – were the highlights of the play.
This was a great effort by one of the smallest theatre groups in the Fringe Festival. I hope to see more of their work soon.
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