The critically acclaimed production of Touching The Void, currently running at the Duke of York’s Theatre in London’s West End, is set to host a pre-show event with Samaritans on 20th January, discussing mental wellbeing, resilience and weathering the storm. The line-up will include: Blogger Kat Farmer; Dylan Jones OBE, Editor of GQ and mountaineer Simon Yates who scaled Siula Grande with Joe Simpson. The frank and thoughtful discussion will be hosted by presenter Alex Zane. The event forms part of Samaritan’s’ ‘Brew Monday’ campaign, encouraging people to get together and connect over a cup of tea. All proceeds will go to the charity and the production will continue to collect for them daily for two weeks after the event. The announcement comes as the production enters the final weeks of its hit run at the theatre where it must end on 29th February.
This production of Touching The Void marks the 30th anniversary of the publication of Joe Simpson’s best-selling memoir, charting his extraordinary struggle for survival on the perilous Siula Grande mountain in the Peruvian Andes. It is a powerful story and in 1985, was an extraordinary human feat. David Greig’s adaptation explores the mental resilience it must have taken Joe to descend, alone, with a broken leg, frostbite, dehydration and starvation, as well as the moral quandary of Simon, to leave him behind. Touching The Void looks at the drive to climb; the number of climbers who never make it back, and what “the void” may actually be referring to.
Ruth Sutherland, Samaritans CEO said: “We know that some people face their own obstacles – their own mountains and feats of survival – every single day. For all kinds of reasons this winter, it might be difficult to get out of bed and face the day ahead. But Joe proved that survival beyond insurmountable odds is possible. David’s show, Touching The Void in the West End has proved that “anything is possible in the theatre”. And Samaritans’ message is that together, we can make a future feel possible, even when it feels like everything is stacked against you. This Blue Monday, remember to take time and check in – on yourself and on each other. It can really help us weather the ups and downs of life.”
Tom Morris directs the stage version of Touching the Void, adapted by The Lyceum’s David Greig (The Events, The Suppliant Women, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) from the award-winning memoir by Joe Simpson, which also became a BAFTA-winning film. They are joined by Designer Ti Green, Sound Designer and Composer Jon Nicholls, Lighting Designer Chris Davey, Movement Director Sasha Milavic Davies and casting by Jill Green CDG.
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Photo credit: Michael Wharley