Never Swim Alone at the Edmonton Fringe Festival

Never Swim Alone. Photo and design credit:

Never Swim Alone. Photo and design credit:

Never Swim Alone by Daniel MacIvor
August 11 – 14, 16 – 20 at Venue #41: Rutherford School
More information:

An interview with Luc Tellier.

Describe your show in five words.

Brotherhood. Friendship. Competition. Blame? Atonement?

Okay, now that we’re intrigued… what’s the longer description?

At the heart of this play is a sacred friendship and brotherhood that began between Frank and Bill as kids. But a referee has locked them in a cut-throat competition where truths are revealed, and where being first has never been more important.

Why did you want to bring Never Swim Alone to Edmonton?

The story and the structure of this play have fascinated me for years, but I’ve only ever seen it done in high schools. Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s a perfect play for students to dive into – they often do an incredible job of it. But it’s really exciting to watch adult actors navigate their way through this text and do exactly what Blarney Production does best – go below the surface and unflinchingly ask ‘why.’

Never Swim Alone centres around a war of words between businessmen Frank and Bill lead by a mysterious young girl. Can you give us a sense of the questions or challenges she poses to the two men?

The competition starts off pretty surface-level and straight-forward. Who’s taller? Who’s better dressed? And then we get into the nitty-gritty of familial relationships, business ties, children, and the lengths each man will go to fight their way to the top.

You say in your press release that Never Swim Alone has been hailed as a landmark of Canadian theatre. Why do you think that is?

Well, I think what makes this show tick is that MacIvor presents a swirling, circular mystery locked in a rigid, structured format. Some clues are handed to us, others are alluded to, and there’s always an air of not knowing what’s going to happen next. It’s a battle of words and tactics that can change on a dime.

Anything else you want audiences to know about the show?

I want them to know EVERYTHING about the show! But more importantly, I want them to talk about it. The show is a total conversation, so come prepared to think. Choose a side. Question your choice. Change your side. Rise and repeat.

The 35th Edmonton International Fringe Theatre Festival is August 11 – 21. Get your tickets at

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