Strathclyde Theatre in at the deep end

THEATRE fans will swap the stage for the swimming pool this week as a highlight of the Southside Fringe programme occupies Govanhill Baths.

Campaigners who fought to save the Georgian bathhouse — dating back to 2001 — may recognise the plot of Strathclyde Theatre Group’s first southside offering.

The troupe moved into the building after the closure of the Ramshorn Theatre — and Fringe show Steaming takes place in the pool itself.

STG manager Bruce Downie had promised the Baths Trust a project, and it was director Julie Steen who spotted similarities between the 1981 Nell Dunn play and real life events.

She told The Extra: “When I read it, I got goosebumps. One of the reasons it hasn’t been performed much is because it’s a difficult setting—- unless you have the space that we do.

“The people who’ve worked to get the Baths up and running are over the moon that we’re doing a play which echoes their story.”

Bruce added: “The beauty is that we have the space and time to create something tailor-made.

“It’s a nice way to introduce ourselves to the community and show we have the same interests — that community theatre, like the baths, is open to all.”

Audience members will also take the plunge, sitting in the shallow end as they follow six women fighting the closure of a delapidated Turkish baths — and in this changing room, it’s ladies only.

But fear not male theatregoers, because everyone’s welcome when it comes to the audience.

Julie added: “It’s so exciting to be part of the Southside Fringe and invite people in to see the building.

“It’s as good as it gets — like our own Govanhill Baths cathedral. Now we just have to live up to the performance space.”

Steaming runs May 10-17 at 7.30pm. Tickets are available at www.brownpapertickets.com or the Fringe HQ