The great outdoors

Epic adventures are a common theme at the Fringe this year. Steve Cramer investigates

\ sooit as lie set eyes on (i.\l (‘alhoun‘s

rippittg yarn ahottt Scott of the

.t\nlarctic. Iii/1U lust Soul/t: l’tn‘suil oft/1e l’o/t'. director Roh .\ltt||ho|land knew it would he tlte show that would tetttpt him back to the hinge. ;\ story ol estreme lttttttatt endurance. it sets two tttottologttcs side by side. those ol' Scott attd ltis Norwegian t'iyal Roald Amundsen. contpletely itt their own words. as compiled l'rom letters attd diaries.

‘ln I‘HZ tltere was no prospect of war. eyerything seemed optimistic. and tltere was a general l‘eeling ol ltope lor a new world.‘ says .\lullholland. w ho itt tlte early Ulls scooped l‘t'inge l-irsts four years ottt ol the. ~'l‘here were

tltree journeys tltat captttred the itttagittation ol‘

the world: Scott's. :\llltlntlscn\ and the voyage ol' the 'l'itanic. Two of the three ended in tragedy.‘

‘Scott has tltis great eagerness and hoyishness

he tltottgltt ol science as poetry attd poetry as science.‘ rel‘lects Mttllholland. ‘()ne of the few things that Scott and :\tttttttdsett shared was this bond witlt the men. 'l‘here‘s a sense of almost .lom'm'r's /-.'/ul. ol the l-‘irst World War trenches ahottt the relationship formed between these men.‘

.-\nother story ol human intimacy and the need

lor isolation attd epic ady'entttre is told in An Air Hal/(mu .-It‘ms.s .Inmrt'lit‘u. In it. Scott himsell

pttts itt a hriel aptwarance. along with his other great riyal Shackleton. as well as early

From top to bottom: Long Time Dead; The Last South; An Air Balloon Across Antarctica


aytationtst attd adyentttt‘et \ntclta lathart. [hey all appear as hallucinations to a ttttttot tetttale L‘L‘lc‘l‘l’lly \\ llt‘. ttllc‘l' tlte \lL'JllI ill llt‘l' c'lllltl .tlltl lllL' L‘tttl Ul- her ltlttl't'lagt‘. seeks l0 lilllkl c‘llttttlttltal tranquillity lit the tourney ot the title. llartagh \lat‘ttn's play has already clcatted tip at the Melbourne l't‘tnge.

Meanwhile. Irom lrelattd. \letcedes (ilett/c. another. now torgotten. tetttale celehrtty wlto swam the lingltsh channel ttt 1")“ ts hrought to lite hy writer attd pertorntet‘ l tttda ls’adley. promising insights tttto tltc capacity ot mass media technology to create attd lorget cclehrtttes

itt short order.


.-\nd Rona .\lttnro's new play. I! we Iimt' Haul. also spcttl\\ ol' adyenture. this time telling the story iii a couple ol' mountain clinthers. one w itlt a tragedy already hehind him. attd their inahility to adjttst to the tttodern world. Director ls’o\ana Silhert ol l’aines l’lough links the need to tind l'orms ol' human intimacy itt isolation attd danger specilically to history.

Silhert \il}\. “l‘he new attitudes to nature that occurred with Romanticism are still may tttttclt aliye iii the present day. where this story is set. It's about these peoples' relationship with the modern world. 'l‘here‘s something about modern technology that's totally litttitittg. Rather than tacilitating. as it's meant to he. it‘s restrictiye.‘

Here again. the htttttatt dynamics between the men at the cetttrc transcend those ot' eyeryday relationships. "lhe otte attetttpt at a sc\ll;tl relationship iii the play. with a nurse. is a disastrous lailure. hecattse she‘s itot capahle ol intimacy.

‘In the situation these characters are itt. your lil’e cotttpletely tlcpclttls tttt tlte person you're with. It the other person screws up. you‘re dead. .-\Iltl there are :1 It“ ttl decisions llllsL'lI together it] the play. It‘s a We attd death decision you haye to both commit to. like loy cf adds Silhet't. "l‘heit' desire to get to the top is important enough to risk their liyes l‘or that's a thing that you haye to he a climber to access.‘

(io on. escape the modern attd get hack to nature.

The Last South: Pursuit of the Pole, Pleasance Courtyard, 556 6550, 4-27 Aug (not 8, 15), 1.10pm, £94210 (928-29). Previews 1—3 Aug, £5; An Air Balloon Across Antarctica, Pleasance Dome, 556 6550, 4-27 Aug (not 6, 13, 20), 5.20pm, £7.50—£8.50 (£5427). Previews 1-3 Aug, £5; The Art of Swimming, Traverse Theatre, 228 1404, 3-12 Aug (not 6), times vary, £14 (SS-£10). Preview 2 Aug, £10 (£5). Long Time Dead, Traverse Theatre, 228 1404, 5—26 Aug (not 6, 13, 20), times vary, £16 (£54211). Previews 4 Aug, £11 (£5).