The secret is out.
Matthew Mitcham, winner of a gold medal at the 2008 Olympics, has been doing more than training to dive at next year’s Commonwealth Games.
Mitcham has launched a crowd funding drive on Pozible.com to raise money for Twists and Turns, his debut cabaret tour which is named after his autobiography.
With his ukelele, Mitcham’s musical talents are already known to fans who have seen his various YouTube videos. The stage show will cover the ‘twists and turns and up and downs of his young rollercoaster life,’ according to the fundraising page.
‘Most of you know I’ve been singing and playing with my ukelele for a little while now,’ Mitcham says in a video about the show. ‘But now my hobby has turned into something a little more serious.’
The plan is for the one-hour show to have its world premiere in Australia in February 2014 touring to Perth, Sydney and Melbourne.
Mitcham was Australia’s first male diving Olympic gold medallist since 1924 and the only openly gay athlete at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. In winning the 10m platform title, he became only diver ever in Olympic history to produce a perfect 10 point score from all judges.
But the road to Olympic glory was a rocky one plagued by low self-esteem, anxiety and depression. Mitcham also suffered panic attacks and engaged in repeated self-harm as a teenager which led to drug abuse.
‘It pretty much sums up my life to date,’ he says. ‘I hope to inspire some of you who might be falling under the pressures of self-doubt and depression like I was, to give you the message that if I can overcome addiction and dark times, you can you.’
‘The show won’t all be gloom and doom,’ he adds. ‘There will be a few surprises and some great songs.’
The show will be directed by Nigel Turner-Carroll, has been scripted by multi-award winning UK cabaret performer Spanky and musical director is Jeremy Brennan who starred in Jersey Boys.