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Eau Eau 7
The hardest thing with synchronised swimming is not holding your breath but keeping everyone in time.
“You need a clear beat to the music so they can swim neatly,” says Brighton Dolphin Synchro’s Liz Fitzsimons.
“We select our own music, and we wouldn’t pick something too difficult to swim.”
We are discussing the challenges of putting together one of Brighton Fringe’s more unusual shows.
She says it’s the grand finale of the club’s synchronised swimming production with Brighton Swimming Club that is always the most difficult.
By the time the piece crescendos there are 40 swimmers in the water, in unison.
The youngest is Ellie South, aged 11. The oldest is Lynn MacKenzie, 67, who can do the splits.
MacKenzie is co-director with Fitzsimons. Their work this year is Eau Eau 7, which takes its music from James Bond, 50 years after Ian Fleming penned Casino Royale. It is the club’s fourth Fringe show.
Fitzsimons says beginners find it difficult to hold their breath but soon get used to it.
“We are masters and we only do it for maybe 30 seconds at a time.”
She is one of three current World Masters gold medallists swimming in the performance.
And because the club’s senior team is in training for this year’s World Masters in Italy in June they will swim their team routine in the show .
Fitzsimons says all the swimmers need good stamina and body awareness.
“You need to know where your lifts are, you need a good sense of rhythm and you need to be flexible.
“You also need to be strong because when you are upside down with legs out you are sculling.”
There is grace to go with the brawn. The ladies will don bowties, headdresses and one-off costumes for the ten routines in the big pool.
Students from Peacehaven Community School will narrate the show and double up as double agents.
The Bond link is more than just music and all the actors and crew are aged from 11 to 15.
To coincide with the Olympics, 007 has to foil a terror plot.
Ellie South, who is part of the Dolphin club and goes to Peacehaven Communtiy School, wrote the original story which Fitzsimons and MacKenzie fleshed out.
The action and music will borrow from films From Russia With Love and The Man With The Golden Gun.
The routines will vary from solos and duets to trios and teams.
“It’s rare you swim to only one song. want different tempos of music, so we cut things together,” explains Fitzsimons.
The show lasts 40 minutes and is a big draw because the audience get a great view from the stands at the Prince Regent.
Though Fitzsimons says the line-up is predominantly women, she is keen to point out the club welcomes men as well as swimmers of all shapes and sizes.
“We actually have quite a large lady and she swims with everybody else.
She finds it harder than the rest of us, but gives as good as everyone else.
“At competitions there are often large ladies, but I think they are quite buoyant in the water.
“I am tall and muscly and am heavy in the water, so I have to expend more energy trying to keep in position.”
Prince Regent Swimming Pool, Church Street, Brighton, May 12
Starts 8pm, £8. Call 01273 917272
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