Rob Brydon comedy Swimming with Men to close EIFF 2018

The British comedy about an all-male synchronised swimming team will close this year’s Edinburgh International Film Festival

Article by Jamie Dunn | 27 Apr 2018
  • Swimming with Men

It looks like Edinburgh International Film Festival will close on a whimsical note this year, with the UK premiere of British comedy Swimming with Men selected as the closing gala. The film stars Rob Brydon as an accountant going through a midlife crisis. His solution to his woes: don some swimming trunks and take to the pool as part of an all-male group of synchronised swimmers.

Brydon is joined on the team by other familiar faces from British TV and film, including Rupert Graves, Daniel Mays and Thomas Turgoose, while Jane Horrocks plays Brydon’s character's wife.

The plot logline says that Brydon’s character “discovers that making patterns in a pool can, for a couple of hours at least, give him escapism from the bumps in his work and marriage. Initially keeping their personal lives in the locker, the ramshackle squad and coach Susan slowly begin to reveal their inner lives, as well as their paunches. But can they get their routines, not to mention their lives, in sync as they embark on an unlikely journey to Milan to compete in the World Championship?”

The film is directed by Oliver Parker, whose most recent film was the poorly-received resurrection of stuffy Home Front sitcom Dad’s Army, while other comedy titles on Parker’s CV include the St Trinian's films and Rowan Atkinson spy spoof sequel Johnny English Reborn. EIFF's screening of Swimming with Men on 1 July marks the comedy's UK premiere, with the film opening across the UK six days later on 7 July.

Mark Adams, the artistic director of Edinburgh International Film Festival, calls Swimming with Men “a classic British comedy delight packed with a series of quite wonderful performances,” adding that it’s “the perfect film to wrap up a Festival that prides itself on celebrating all that is great about British filmmaking.”

Parker, who’s expected to attend EIFF along with Brydon, said, “It’s such an honour and a real pleasure to be having our UK premiere as the closing film at Edinburgh International Film Festival. I can’t think of a better place for our intrepid swimmers to take the plunge.”

As was recently announced, EIFF will open on 20 June with American indie drama Puzzle, starring Kelly Macdonald.

Tickets for Puzzle are currently on sale, and tickets for Swimming with Men will be on sale from 10am on Fri 27 Apr.

EIFF runs 20 Jun-1 Jul, with the full programme announced Wed 23 May. For more information on this year’s EIFF, head to