Tumble Tuck (3 stars)

Tumble Tuck

Photo: courtesy of Scott Rylander

One-woman show about sport and confidence

It may have simply been the damp walls of Underbelly Cowgate, but the space was filled with the appropriate and familiar scent of a swimming pool.

Tumble Tuck, written and performed by Sarah Milton, explores the relationship between sport, confidence and mental health. Specifically it follows Daisy who takes up swimming as a form of therapy after her boyfriend is imprisoned for murder.

Swimming is a savvy choice for a performance with these themes. It forces us into environments we're not really built to operate in and exposes our bodies to public scrutiny in a way that few other activities do.

Milton's performance uses this vulnerability well. Daisy is shy as she moves around the stage openly discussing how her size and her gait make her feel awkward in her own body. Milton really excels, though, as she simulates her time actually in the pool, with an awkward, practised, sort of grace that makes her exertions plain.

These are the strongest moments in the hour and the further the action gets from the pool, the weaker it becomes. However, at its best, this is an inspiring story about a young woman tapping into previously unknown reserves to overcome her fears.

Underbelly Cowgate, until 27 Aug (not 14), 12.10pm, £9.50–£10.50 (£8.50–£9.50).

Tumble Tuck

  • 3 stars

Tumble Tuck, written by Sarah Milton and presented by BackHere! Theatre, tells the story of a young woman struggling to accept herself and realise her strength. It explores what it means to be successful in a world where medals matter. Daisy’s relationship with water is complex; it’s the only place where she feels safe so…

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