CENTREFOLD / Amateur aquatics: Literary agent transforms ICA into swimming pool

'Theatre is a very important but a very silly activity,' declares Gary Carter, who performs two solo pieces under the title Sport and Recreation at the ICA on Wednesday. 'The whole idea of a group of people coming to watch me pretending to be under water is very funny'. It's even funnier if, as is the case with Carter, you are only a part-time performer. The rest of the time he is a literary agent, and his clients frequently come to see the performances. 'They enjoy coming to watch me and then telling me my structure was crap,' he admits cheerfully. 'They're incredibly influential in the sense that having exposure to people who are much more talented than you is a very good thing'.

Carter describes his performance work as fictionalised autobiography, and the two ICA pieces, The Business and Rest Interval, draw heavily on the split in his life between art and business, of 'wearing suits and hammering out contracts'.

Born in South Africa to British parents, he always longed to become a ballet dancer. He trained as an actor and director, but refused to go into the South African army and so was deported to England. Here he got a temping job with a literary agency which, in time, became permanent.

The Business is the story of a business-man who is obsessed with Swan Lake, and whose business-suit eventually takes flight and performs a version of the ballet. Rest Interval starts from the premise that the audience is watching somebody swimming up and down in a pool. 'I'm an obsessive swimmer, I swim two and a half miles every day before work. I started to wonder what you could possibily imagine about my life if you watched me. In the water all you can see is fragmented bits of my body passing by, under water and all distorted. When you see people every day at a pool you get snippets of their lives, but it's a very partial view.' When transformed into art it's an even more partial view. 'It's based on truth, but I lie wildly,' he says. 'The funny thing is that people always assume that what you say is true in the theatre'.

Sport and Recreation, 8pm Wednesday 8 June, ICA, The Mall, SW1, pounds 7/pounds 5 Box office 071-930 3647

(Photograph omitted)

News
peopleGuitarist, who played with Aerosmith, Lou Reed and Alice Cooper among others, was 71
News
Robyn Lawley
people
Arts and Entertainment
The cast of The Big Bang Theory in a still from the show
tvBig Bang Theory filming delayed by contract dispute over actors' pay
News
people
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebookA wonderful selection of salads, starters and mains featuring venison, grouse and other game
News
i100  ... he was into holy war way before it was on trend
Life and Style
lifeDon't get caught up on climaxing
Arts and Entertainment
Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe), Hermione Granger (Emma Watson) and Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint)
newsBloomsbury unveils new covers for JK Rowling's wizarding series
News
scienceScientists try to explain the moon's funny shape
Sport
Usain Bolt confirms he will run in both the heats and the finals of the men's relay at the Commonwealth Games
commonwealth games
News
peopleHowards' Way actress, and former mistress of Jeffrey Archer, was 60
Life and Style
Troy Baker and Ashley Johnson voice the show’s heroes
gamingOnce stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
As Loki in The Avengers (2012)
filmRead Tom Hiddleston's email to Joss Whedon on prospect of playing Loki
Voices
voices In defence of the charcoal-furred feline, by Felicity Morse
Arts and Entertainment
High-flyer: Chris Pratt in 'Guardians of the Galaxy'
filmThe film is surprisingly witty, but could do with taking itself more seriously, says Geoffrey Macnab
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Experienced Creche Assistant - Lambeth - September 2014

    £64 - £69 per day + Competitive London rates of pay : Randstad Education Group...

    All Primary NQT's

    £100 - £120 per day + per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Description Calling a...

    DT Teacher - Food Technology

    £100 - £145 per day + Pension and travel: Randstad Education Maidstone: SUPPLY...

    Supply Teachers Needed in Thetford

    £21000 - £35000 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: Supply teachers neede...

    Day In a Page

    Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

    The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

    With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
    Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

    How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

    As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
    We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

    We will remember them

    Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
    Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

    Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

    Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
    Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

    Acting in video games gets a makeover

    David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices
    Could our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?

    Could smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases?

    Health Kit and Google Fit have been described as "the beginning of a health revolution"
    Ryanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?

    Can we learn to love Ryanair again?

    Four recent travellers give their verdicts on the carrier's improved customer service
    Billionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers

    Spanx launches range of jeans

    The jeans come in two styles, multiple cuts and three washes and will go on sale in the UK in October
    10 best over-ear headphones

    Aural pleasure: 10 best over-ear headphones

    Listen to your favourite tracks with this selection, offering everything from lambskin earmuffs to stainless steel
    Commonwealth Games 2014: David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end

    Commonwealth Games

    David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end
    UCI Mountain Bike World Cup 2014: Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings

    UCI Mountain Bike World Cup

    Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings
    Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

    The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

    The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
    A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

    A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

    Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
    Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

    Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

    How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
    Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

    From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

    He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star