A one woman show, Tumble Tuck is written and performed by Sarah Milton. It tells the story of a young woman, Daisy, struggling to accept herself and realise her strength. She’s fighting her inner demons as a result of being asked by her boyfriend to be an accomplice in a murder of a 15 year old boy, overcoming the jailed boyfriend, and finding her strength in discovering swimming and her ability to win a bronze medal, which is good enough for her but not necessarily those with which she is in competition.
It’s a fast-paced show, excellently executed with Milton wearing just a black Speedo, swimming hat, a friendship necklace and occasionally a grey zipped gym cardigan yet Milton brilliantly distinguishes the different characters in the piece, through subtle changes in her tone of voice and the use of different accents.
She paints a verbal picture of each character: the suffocating mother; the bulimic swimmer Cat with the posh voice; her annoying friend Alice, with whom she shares the other half of a friendship necklace – “bought from Claire’s Accessories for £3”; and her counsellor (“it could be Debbie or it could be Linda”), with the drawn-on crayon eyes, illustrated with the use of sticks of a Kit-Kat bar. It’s funny but doesn’t distract from the tension Milton has built up.
Milton gives a believable impression of Daisy swimming, with her “twisting and her turning and her breathing” and the audience feels her metaphorical drowning from her life pressures. She swims because she loves her body. She does it because she races herself. She can never win or lose because the rules are her own, and ultimately she wins a medal of her own. Milton gives a strong and convincing performance throughout a delightful show from start to finish.