Back in 1985 two climbers in their twenties, Joe Simpson and Simon Yates, travelled to become the first people to reach the summit of the massive Siula Grande mountain in the remote Peruvian Andes. They manage to do it, a remarkable feat, but their problems had only just begun.
As the pair descend the treacherous peak Joe has a bad fall and breaks his leg. Simon sets about lowering Joe the rest of the way down the mountain using ropes, but when a storm strikes things get incredibly nasty. Will Simon be forced to cut the rope and send Joe spiralling down to his death? It's a dilemma none of us want to face, but Simon and Joe face it with courage and strength. And it makes an exceptional play for adults, containing frequent swearing, as you can imagine, as well as images of injury and death.
Joe Simpson's amazing memoir about his adventures is called Touching the Void. The movie version won a BAFTA. The story is so extraordinary it's hard to believe it's true... but it is. This is a real life adventure, and the very fact adds plenty of extra spice to an already amazing tale of endurance and survival.
The World Premiere of this splendid play, which comes to us from the Royal Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh, Bristol Old Vic, Royal & Derngate & Fuel, has already thrilled audiences. Now it's due in the West End, at the magnificent Duke of York's theatre, a drama that's a whole lot more dramatic than most! It's been beautifully adapted from Joe's book by the award winning writer David Greig, and it's seriously special.
You can fully expect an extraordinary exploration of one man's fierce mental battle to survive against the odds. It's as rich in psychodrama as it is real-feeling, in part thanks to the excellent work of the Artistic Director of the Bristol Old Vic, Tom Morris, who directs the piece in his usual uniquely brilliant way. Add a stellar cast including Fiona Hampton as Sarah, Edward Hayter as Simon, Patrick McNamee as Richard and Josh Williams as Joe, and it gets even better.
The icing on the cake is an exceptional creative team including the Designer Ti Green, Lighting Designer Chris Davey, the Composer & Sound Designer Jon Nicholls, the Movement Director Sasha Milavic Davies, and the Casting and Assistant Director Evan Lordan. This one's perfect for theatre lovers aged 15 or more.
Playing at Duke of York's Theatre
104 St Martin's Lane, London, WC2N 4BG GB (venue info)