Real life survival tale aims for new heights

Touching The Void
Touching The Void
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THE amazing true story of climber Joe Simpson opens the Royal Lyceum’s 2019 season next month.

Touching the Void recounts the astonishing story of Simpson and Simon Yates’ near-fatal climb of the West Face of the Siula Grande in the Peruvian Andes, a feat that had previously been attempted but never achieved, and one that would almost cost both climbers their lives.

Adapted for the stage by David Greig and based on the award-winning book by Simpson, which was written in 1988, five years before becoming a film in 2003, the Royal Lyceum, Bristol Old Vic and Royal & Derngate co-production receives it’s Scottish premiere from 24 January to 16 February 2019.

Blinded and slowed by snowstorms on the descent from Siula Grande’s 6,344m peak, tragedy strikes when Joe Simpson falls badly, breaking his leg.

He and fellow climber Simon Yates find themselves roped together - neither able to move to safety, and both frozen by their formidable surroundings and their loyalty to one another.

Faced with the impossible choice between cutting the rope and continuing the climb, or potentially perishing with his friend, Yates makes a decision that results in unimaginable consequences and an unbelievable story of strength, spirit, and the will to survive.

Lyceum artistic director Greig says, “Touching the Void is one of the great true stories of adventure and survival.

“It’s a tale that has reached beyond just the climbing world and become mythological.

“Joe Simpson made an extraordinary choice. When it would have been easier to die, he chose to live.

“We had no idea how to do climbing on stage - we just knew it would take a thrilling theatricality to realise this book, and it’s been brilliant working with [director] Tom Morris to bring it to life.”

Touching The Void, Royal Lyceum, Grindlay Street, 24 January-16 February 2019, 7.30pm (2pm matinees), £14-£32, 0131-248 4848