Swimming Home

Are you ready to dive in?

the new Autoteatro show by Silvia Mercuriali
Presented as part of Boca del Lupo's LivePerformance360 presentation series.

Swimming Home ​is ​an immersive theatre experience for an audience of one, that takes place in their own bathroom. It was developed through interviews with swimmers from all over the UK and delivered directly into people’s homes through a phone App. Swimming Home, Silvia Mercuriali’s latest Autoteatro show, brings a fully immersive theatre experience into people’s homes, transforming their bathroom into a filmic water-world.  Standing in their bathroom, wearing a swimming costume, goggles and some headphones, the audience is led through a journey of rediscovery of their relationship with water as they prepare to enter their bath (or shower).

A sonic reality matches the participants’ actions as they are instructed to move around their bathroom, inviting them to watch their surroundings through a new poetic lens, allowing the bathroom to take on new guises. Sometimes an antechamber of a municipal pool, other times an outdoor pool in the hills of Hollywood, the familiar shifts constantly through sound.

The show mixes together instructions, binaural and underwater recordings, film extracts and interviews with swimmers to ​transport the audience, in and out of the pool, superimposing imagined realities onto​ ​that which they watch.

“Swimming Home plays with the liminal, with the gap between imagination and reality, and urges you to let go and float away. It pays off: when you are finally allowed to submerge and dip your head under the water, it is oddly exhilarating.”   

✭✭✭✭  The Stage

“Silvia Mercuriali created the future. Just do it. Extraordinary.”

Cristian Ceresoli – Theatre Director and Author

Best online theatre experience.”

The Guardian 

Mercurious NET App 

Swimming Home is experienced through the new app ​Mercurious NET – National Ear Theatre​, ​a sound-based interactive theatre App turning the everyday world into a stage.​ ​Directly from your own phone wherever you are, you have access to Silvia Mercuriali’s unique​ ​Autoteatro ​shows. Whether set in a public space or from the comfort of your own home, your​ ​surroundings become the backdrop of a ​fantastical parallel reality transforming the everyday into a​ ​new poetic world. The App is available worldwide creating a community of HOME SWIMMERS which reaches beyond geographical borders.


Feb 23, 24, 25 – 7:30 pm & 9:30 pm
Feb 26, 27 – 10:30 am, 1:30 pm, 7:30 pm, & 9:30 pm

DIY Swimming Home

DIY Swimming Home is a photographic project born alongside the interactive theatre show Swimming Home about the relationship we have with water and its ability to connect us all. Born almost by chance during lockdown, the artist has invited people to send a picture of themselves as if swimming in their own home. The pool becomes just a state of mind, an openness to floating, waiting and just being, undefined, unclassified. Even when confined in our own homes water still connects us all ‘through the pipes, under your floor, up and down stairs, around the bends, into Hollywood’s private pools and then finally home‘.

“Now that we are so distant from each other and kept separate in our own bubbles, unable to travel, I especially feel the need to connect more. DIY Swimming does this with the simple action of taking a picture.”

Silvia Mercuriali

Get creative! Send us your self-portrait in your Swimming Home gear at [email protected] and be a part of the community!

Creative Team

Silvia Mercuriali

Writer & Director

Silvia Mercuriali has been working in theatre since 1998, creating events, site-specific installations, experimental theatre shows and immersive performances, focusing on altering the perception of everyday environments and the people inhabiting them, to turn reality into a fictional and poetic world.
Since 2007 she has created work using the strategy of Autoteatro which she pioneered with Ant Hampton for the show Etiquette. Autoteatro is a theatrical strategy developed by Silvia Mercuriali and Ant Hampton in 2007, which explores a new​ ​kind of performance whereby audience members perform the piece themselves following a set of pre-recorded instructions. The participants find themselves playing a role within a fictional narrative, without having to act or improvise, but simply abandoning themselves to a predetermined script, discovering the story as they enact it.

Silvia has experimented with this new strategy, applying it, stretching it and moulding it to different technologies and in different contexts constantly inviting audiences to question what is real and what is not.  The audience’s panoramic view of Silvia’s work is a melange of public & private interactions, comprising both the random- unplanned and the controlled-scripted.

She has presented work internationally and has been commissioned by cultural centres and theatres including Brisbane Powerhouse (AUS), Museum of Art of Kochi (JP) as well as UK commissioning bodies such as Wellcome Trust, Fuel Theatres, The Roundhouse, Battersea Arts Centre,  and Harrogate Theatre & Yorkshire Festival.


Silvia Mercuriali
Writer & Director

English Narrating Voices Silvia Mercuriali, Sam Booth and Simon Kane
Italian Narrating Voices Silvia Mercuriali, Neri Marcorè, Andrea Fugaro, Fabrizio Matteini
French Narrating Voices Eliza Calmat, Aurélien Pawloff et Tristan Bruemmer

English Swimmers Voices Amy Cooper, María Estévez-Serrano, Zed Lightheart, Amaia Mugica, Maia Rossi, Kazuko Ohki, Karen Le Roy Harris, Daniel Barnard, Nigel Blackwell

Italian Swimmers Voices Alessandra Bincoletto, Simona Brighetti, Anna Caltagirone, Silvia Cattoi, Cristian Ceresoli, Valeria Coizza, Giusi Di Gesaro, Silvia Gallerano, Alberto Pavoni, Pier Antonio Marchesi, Giuseppe Parvenza, Tommaso Perego, Alessandra Ruggeri, Marco Ortu

French Swimmers Voices Melissa Bruemmer, Georges Pawloff, Ruben Badinter, Salomé Dugraindelorge, Roxanne Joucaviel, Gisela Bursztyn, Karine Dardé, Didier Lafond

App Development & Sound Design Michele Panegrossi

Underwater Recording Lewis Gibson
Produced by Giusi Di Gesaro

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