Touching the Void to be brought to the stage in Edinburgh

New stage show Touching the Void will be adapted from Joe Simpson's best-selling book of the same name.
New stage show Touching the Void will be adapted from Joe Simpson's best-selling book of the same name.
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The famous true-life story of a mountainteering trip in the Peruvian Andes which went disastrously wrong is to be turned into a major new stage play in Scotland.

David Greig, one of the nation’s leading playwrights, has revealed he will be adapting the best-selling book Touching the Void.

Joe Simpson’s account of his battle for survival after falling into a crevasse and shattering his knee - and the agoninising dilemma faced by his fellow climber, Simon Yates, on whether to cut a rope to try to save his own life, has already been turned into an award-winning film.

Now Greig will be bringing the events which unfolded on the 20,000 foot tall peak in 1985 to the stage of Edinburgh’s Royal Lyceum Theatre, where he is artistic director.

The play will be directed by Tom Morris, artistic director at Bristol’s Old Vic Theatre, where the show will premiere next autumn, before its run at the Lyceum in January 2019.

Greig said: “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. To make that choice he had to reach into the very depths of what it is to be human: the desire to live, love and connect to others.

“How do you do climbing on stage? I don’t know! Whatever we do it’s going to take a thrilling theatricality to realise this book and I can’t wait to work with Tom Morris to bring it to life. It’s an existential thriller that will have audiences clinging on to the edge of their seats.”