Experience the play that received stellar reviews in London’s West End.
"...takes us from the terror and poetry of the Antarctic ice to the character’s former wives, mistress, children..."
This fascinating play tells an epic story of exploration, survival, courage, conflict and the workings of the British class system, through the eyes of legendary explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton’s carpenter.
In 1914 as war was about to envelope Europe, Shackleton, together with 27 hand-picked men sailed in the Endurance to Antarctica with the aim of walking to the South Pole. Within 80 miles of reaching land the Endurance became trapped in the ice. After a 10-month wait for the ice to break, the Endurance was crushed and sank.
Image: Frank Hurley - Endurance, the onset of winter, Antarctica 1915. ANMM Collection 00034262
The devastated men then spent a further 6 months camped on the ice waiting for warmer weather to set out in three open life boats. A 7-day journey to the uninhabited Elephant Island led to a further 15-day trip by six of the men - sailing over 600 miles of treacherous seas to reach South Georgia. Unfortunately, they reached the wrong side of the island. Three of the men then had to make the journey on foot across uncharted mountains to reach the whaling station of Grytviken. Eighteen long months after the Endurance was first captured by the ice, all the members of the expedition were saved.
Twenty four members of the expedition were awarded the Polar Medal. Shackleton’s carpenter, was not.
Duration: 70 minutes
Director: Nicholas Papademetriou
Producer: Adam Liberman
Lighting Design: Martin Kinnane
Main Image: The Endurance keeling over, 1915 by Frank Hurley. Figure visible leaning over the aft rail is Shackleton. ANMM Collection 00034265
About Peter FitzSimons
Peter is a highly respected author, journalist, radio and TV presenter. He is a former Wallaby and is Chair of the Australian Republican Movement. He has written books on Captain James Cook, Sir Douglas Mawson, Nancy Wake, Sir John Monash, Les Darcy, Kokoda, Tobruk and Eureka.
The role of Harry McNish in this dramatised reading sees Peter taking on a totally different challenge: one undertaken with a clear responsibility to present Harry’s side of the story.
The Footpath Library
Peter has generously donated all his fees for performing to The Footpath Library. The Footpath Library aims to enrich the quality of life for people experiencing homelessness, encourage literacy and promote a society that is well informed about homelessness. For more details: www.footpathlibrary.org/
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