Heroic failure at the Lit & Phil

Published: 23 November 2019
Reporter: Peter Lathan

CaroleW Productions brings Going South!, a tragic, comic yet moving story of derring-do and camaraderie, to Newcastle's Literary and Philosophical Society in January.

After her opening season at Alphabetti in November 2017 and further seasons at Gosforth Civic Theatre and other venues, producer Carole Wears of CaroleW Productions is bringing Going South! to the Lit & Phil in Westgate Road, Newcastle, which was founded initially as a conversation club in 1793 and became a library in 1825, the largest independent library outside of London.

The performance ia a perfect example of Carole Wears’ aim to match, as far as possible, the right show to the right venue, for Going South! is framed as presentation in which Apsley Cherry-Garrad (“Cherry”), survivor of Captain Scott’s ill-fated expedition to the South Pole, tells the story of that great achievement to the good people of Newcastle at its historic library which, since its inception, has hosted a range of luminaries from the fields of science, the natural sciences, philosophy and history.

It's a one-man comedic storytelling show written and performed by Craig Methven of Back of the Attic Theatre and based on the true story of Scott’s ill-fated expedition. Going South! follows ‘Cherry’s’ attempts to make sense of the tragic loss of his friends, and the failure of the expedition, while also trying to keep it light, keep it funny and entertain the audience who have come to hear a Great British hero, as he stands in for the dead Captain on his ‘victory’ tour!

In telling his story and that of his fellow explorers, he asks questions about our ability to be true, open and honest with each other, and how this is impacted by the way we construct images of heroism and bravery. He explores, questions and celebrates the ways we use comedy as a shield, asking what our desire to keep laughing and to keep people laughing does, and how this creates barriers to emotional expression and personal honesty. It features original songs, comedy and juggling routines, and one accidental burlesque number, as Cherry stumbles towards exposing himself and opening up to an audience, to other people for the first time.

It’s at the Lit & Phil on 15th and 16th January at 7:30 and tickets, which are £10 (£8 concs), are now on sale. Phone 0191 232 0192 or email library@litandphil.org.uk.