Status: 04.12.2023, 10:56 a.m.
Dressed in a turquoise swimming cap and bathrobe, Wigald Boning read from his book about his swimming adventures. © Dagmar Rutt
Wigald Boning talks about the lessons he has learned from 519 days of swimming in different waters - at a reading in Herrsching and in a bathrobe.
Herrsching – Therapeutic bathing or a start to the Guinness Book of Records? In any case, Wigald Boning is causing a stir with his latest book "Mr. Boning goes swimming". At the invitation of the Herrsching Cultural Association, the TV presenter and comedian presented excerpts of his work on Saturday morning in the Kurparkschlösschen.
In it, he reports in a very entertaining way about his curious bathing trip through the waters of this world. Accompanied by Stellario Fagone on the piano, his wife Teresa Boning sang songs by Franz Schubert and Gustav Mahler on the subject of "water" between the texts. Actually, the event was sold out, but many chairs remained unoccupied, probably because of the unexpected onset of winter.
Wigald Boning took it decidedly cheerfully. With a turquoise women's swimming cap on his head, the comedian positioned himself casually behind the lectern in a blue striped bathrobe. The first laughs were already assured, and it was to remain amusing for another good hour. The rhetorically sophisticated and wittily well-packaged report of 365 days of water experience in all weathers was peppered with relentless self-irony, situational comedy and a self-awareness between sporting ambition and momentous overestimation.
"Mr. Boning goes swimming" is a declaration of love for swimming and the healing power of movement in ice-cold to completely overheated water. Well chosen and dramaturgically in the right order, the trained comedian presented his decisive lessons from a year of regular wet experience. The Ammersee took up a special place as a preferred place to swim. The Bonings have been living in Herrsching for two years. Actually, he just wanted to cure his calcified shoulder, but then a health plan became an obsession.
He doesn't run out of extreme experiences
Boning imagines himself as a grotesque, a cosmonaut zombie who ultimately decides against the wetsuit, but instead has to come into close contact with an invisible crocodile. He never runs out of bizarre parables for extreme experiences, and the audience parries with exuberant joy. Whether with his father-in-law in the Ammersee on wrong paths or in the "hot tub" in the Zillertal, which ends with a laceration on the floor of an outhouse, Boning successfully brings the laughs to his side with every episode and also reports on the challenges that a consistent swimming project entails. At the coronation of Prince Charles, for example, which he was supposed to report on for RTL, it had to be a few short swims through London's Thames. At a reading at the airport in Hanover, Boning is forced to dive into the rainwater retention basin behind the tower. It's hard to believe, but confirmed by his wife Teresa: Shortly before the birth of their fifth child, Oskar, the father jumps into the Japanese bathtub that he had previously ordered on the Internet.
Even the snowy Saturday is a day of swimming, says Boning – now the 519th. Where he will swim today, a spectator asks. In the Ammersee, of course, says Boning. This time, however, he knows, in contrast to back then, that you only take off your clothes when the ice hole has already been made.
BY ALEXANDRA JOEPEN-SCHUSTER