Joe Simpson’s book about breaking a leg on the unclimbed face of the 21,000 foot high Siula Grande in the Peruvian Andes is not just a great story about adventure and survival but a nail-biting story of trust, moral dilemmas and friendship. It might seem like an impossible piece to transpose to the stage but that is exactly what playwright David Greig and director Tom Morris have done in a show that has already won over audiences in Edinburgh, Bristol and Northampton. Now they’re bringing its snow-caped peaks and deep crevasses to the West End stage.
Following its sell-out world-premiere in 2018, “Tom Morris’ most accomplished project since War Horse” (The Telegraph) transfers to London. What happens when you look death squarely in the face and how do you find the strength to crawl back towards life? Joe Simpson’s best-selling memoir, turned BAFTA-winning film, charts his struggle for survival in the Andes in 1985. The heart of the story is Joe Simpson’s mental battle as he teeters on the brink of death and despair in a crevasse from which he can’t possibly climb to safety. Alongside this is the appalling dilemma of Simon Yates, perched on an unstable snow-cliff, battered by freezing winds and desperate to rescue his injured climbing partner who hangs from a rope below him.