Touching The Void, Duke of York's Theatre - ★★★★ - Until February 29, 2020

Photographer: Michael Wharley, 2019.

In life there are struggles or challenges we choose and there are those that are thrust upon us. The first act of this play deals with the former, Joe Simpson's decision to climb a mountain in the Peruvian Andes. This is a decision few of us would dare to make and many of us simply don't understand. The second act of this play deals with the challenge of survival, a struggle we must all come to terms with although seldom in the dramatic form in which it is presented here. When we question why people undertake daring and dangerous acts, the answer never seems completely satisfying to those of us who are risk averse like Joe's sister. However, this remarkable piece of theatre shows that those who take on such challenges by choice might have the very spirit that allows one to succeed when struggles come unsought. This production is a gripping glimpse into a real life determination to survive in the face of unbelievable adversity. It is not easy to translate the idea of climbing a mountain in Peru onto a small stage in the West End, but Ti Green's set provides a perfect stimulus for the imagination and the cast put in performances that make it all incredibly real. Fiona Hampton does an outstanding job as Sarah getting her combination of incomprehension and determination just right. Patrick McNamee is excellent as the wandering student. He handles the role of narrator well, although there sometimes seemed a bit too much narration. Both Josh Williams as Joe and Angus Yellowlees as Simon managed to take us into the world of climbing and make the experience totally believable. This production meets its challenges. Experience it!

Reviewed by J.C.

 Our Score:  ☆☆☆☆ 

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WHEN, WHERE, GETTING THERE:
Until February 29, 2020
Mon - Sat: 7:30 pm, Wed & Sat: 2:30 pm
Nearest tube: Leicester Square

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