Ashlee E L Roberts is a writer and broadcaster hailing from Birmingham. She has been working alongside Jo and Janice from Women and Theatre in their development of Into the Water. The final piece will be performed at Moseley Road Swimming Baths in April. Here’s her experience of assisting in the creation of a script and her anticipation for rehearsals.
With rehearsals starting this week for Into the Water, we have submerged ourselves in script writing, stage and sound for the final performance!
Assisting in writing the script has been a heart-warming experience which I feel privileged to be a part of. The initial stages consisted of pin-pointing core themes and deciding on a structure for the narrative. Once the base was designed, we went away and began writing stories, monologues and streams of consciousness. The piece is woven together with the touching memories of local women, which gives the piece an authentic, deep-rooted connection to the women of Birmingham.
As well as scriptwriting, we also joined the BeActive Women’s session* at Moseley Baths for a promotional photo shoot for Into the Water. Some of the women who contributed towards the interviews were present. It was beautiful to observe each individual style of swimming and to see their confidence within the water. Some women splashed. Some floated. Some glided through the water with unteachable poise. Hopefully, the script captures this same vibrant energy. Into the Water replicates a space that allows diversity in heritage, movement and range of abilities.
I am immensely excited to work with the participants will perform in the play and to see how they bring the script to life. Into the Water is a shared story crafted by everyone who contributed their lived experiences. I can’t wait to see it all come to fruition.
“I love it. There’s so much pressure in my life. I just let it all go when I get in the pool. None of it matters” – A swimmer at Moseley Road Baths Women’s Session.
*BeActive Women’s Session is free for all women living in Birmingham. The session is on Mondays 1130-1230 at Moseley Rd Baths.
The Be Active Scheme is a free scheme open to Birmingham residents. We are working in partnership with Birmingham Public Health to offer all Birmingham residents free swimming, group exercise classes and gym sessions at certain times at various leisure centres and parks. BeActive has now been running city wide in Birmingham since 1st September 2009. The scheme currently has over 400,000 members from Birmingham, which represents about 1 in 3 of the entire population.
Check out the Moseley Rd Baths timetable here: http://moseleyroadbaths.org.uk/timetable
The first rehearsal for Into The Water begins this Thursday, if you would like to be involved please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.