Learning to Swim on an Ironing Board is a single-hander by disabled spoken word artist Conor A. Performed via a live stream from Conor’s home, the piece offers an entertaining and revealing account of what life is like when you live with a chronic illness.
Conor A is the first to admit that fibromyalgia (the condition he lives with) doesn’t really present a very inspiring narrative device – there’s no gritty back story or triumphant conclusion. A fast-paced, witty monologue, Learning to Swim on an Ironing Board is the story of getting better at not getting better. It’s an honest and humorous solo show about fibromyalgia, therapy sessions and eavesdropping.
The show originally started out as a performance from Conor’s living room before it was performed as a newly commissioned piece of theatre at HOME’s PUSH Festival in 2019. Following a successful tour, the show is now back in Conor’s living room – ready to be performed and live-streamed, via Zoom, to audiences at home.
Offering an insightful glimpse into Connor’s daily life, accessibility – for Connor and his audience – is an integral part of the performance. The works of the performance are explained at the beginning, and Connor takes regular breaks from the performance during video sections. The performance is also BSL interpreted.
The performance of Learning to Swim on an Ironing Board will be followed by a post-show panel discussion exploring living with fibromyalgia and chronic pain.