The Last March

  • Theatre
  • Drama
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'The Last March'

It may be parky out, but Scott of the Antarctic would be calling us massive wimps if he could see us complaining. Tinder theatre company’s new show is a reminder of the mad, freezing and unfortunate race Robert Falcon Scott undertook to claim the South Pole for Britain in 1910.

It’s a light, sweet, witty piece exploring Scott’s last days with his motley crew of adventurers, who didn’t really know an awful lot about how to get places fast in bitterly cold, gale force blizzards and snow. Lots of snow.

Samuel Dent, Sam Gibbs and Pernilla Holland play all the characters involved, from Scott’s Norwegian counterpart Roald Amundsen, to Captain Oates, Scott himself and the rest of his crew.

‘The Last March’ is a pocket sized homage to Scott, his sense of adventure and his unstinting bravery. It’s directed by Ian Nicholson – whose great grandfather served under Scott – and has the feel of a night of honed sketch improvisation. Gibbs plays all of Scott’s crew, which results in several imaginative ways of getting round the characters appearing onstage all at once.

Although it is funny, the humour begins to wear a little thin, not least because there’s a lot of repetition of jokes. Still, there’s charming and dedicated work from the cast and some lovely moments. When the group explain how they knew nothing about Roald Amundsen, Norway and what might have taken place on his parallel trip, there’s a quick exploration of things from Norway: a-Ha, Ibsen and the cheese slice. Holland’s one-woman re-creation of the Norwegian side’s base camp with all these things included is hilarious. It’s enlightening too: who knew that a Norwegian invented the paper clip?

By Daisy Bowie-Sell

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