Dive talkin’ down at the city Lido
A PLAY which celebrates the history of lidos will be one of the big shows at this year’s Peterborough Festival.
First opened in 1936, the Peterborough Lido is one of the few surviving outdoor pools in the UK.
The building, and existing ones like it, are being revered in a new play by a London theatre company, which debuts in Peterborough next week.
From the blitz to the bikini, Listed Lido is based on the true stories surrounding the legacy of the stunning Art Deco public pools and the swimmers who use them.
Listed Theatre’s site-specific romp, through the thrills and Listed Lido Peterborough Lido June 26 and 27 chills of England’s lidos, dives off when a group of petty criminals are assigned community service in an outdoor swimming pool.
The offenders’ hard work pays off as they discover the real-life stories of love, loss, and, most importantly, freedom that these pools have offered Britons since they were built just under a century ago.
Premiering in Peterborough, Listed Lido will tour to Crown Pools in Ipswich, Tooting Bec Lido and wrap up the run at the stunning Ilkley Lido in North Yorkshire.
Producer of Listed Lido Jessica Manley told The Guide: “In April 2009, Listed Theatre began work to develop a performance piece, exploring and celebrating the history of Broomhill Pool, a derelict lido in Ipswich, Suffolk, and the current campaign to save it. Out of this work grew a research project which led us to discover the rich legacy of lidos nationwide.
“We collected fascinating stories about how these lidos remained open during the Blitz, were witness to the first-ever bikinis, saw generations of teenagers showing off on the diving boards (now banned due to new health and safety regulations), and trained swimmers to cross the channel.
“It is this cross-section of society that Listed Lido brings to life, whilst documenting the battles to save our beloved lidos, which are raging across the country.
“It is so important that we save these lidos, which are valuable urban oases, fusing the ideals of democracy with architecture.”
Listed Lido is on at Peterborough Lido on June 26 and 27, at 7.30pm.
Tickets £10 (£6 concessions) are available from 01733 207239 or at www.listedtheatre.com. Or call 07576 169 620 for same day bookings.
There will be a full preview of the Peterborough Festival in next week’s Guide supplement.