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The Last March review at The Bike Shed Exeter

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An exciting tale of courage and heroism is played out in Tinder Theatre’s unique style as, with minimal props and sparse set, three actors recount the tale of Scott’s bid to conquer the Antarctic. From his initial struggle to find funding to the final tragic end, the piece never takes itself too seriously. Yet with a curious mix of technique, pantomime and melodrama, Tinder creates effective and entertaining theatre that ends on a note which manages to be both poignant and uplifting.

Ian Nicholson directs a show with swift-moving scenes played out-front on designer Victoria Smart’s set where white drapes, inventively used for projection, become snow-covered wastes. With huge ingenuity and inventiveness, three wooden crates are deployed in numerous ways whether as cradle, desk, or hilariously, as various stairways aboard Scott’s ship as an essential cargo of whisky is stowed.

Gethin Alderman plays Scott with a fine sense of period and credible grasp of character. With assorted props, Sam Gibbs believably manages a range of roles from Captain Oates to the expedition’s Dr Bill Wilson. Treading a fine line between comedy and pathos, his petty officer Taff Evans is cleverly done, as with dead-pan expression Evans succumbs to frostbite and cold. Anna Zehentbauer doubles as Scott’s wife and as Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen. Giving thrilling speed to this epic tale as they race towards the South Pole, Alderman and Gibbs very effectively alternate as Amundsen’s snarling dogs pulling a driven Amundsen and, on skis, as Scott’s expedition battles treacherous snow blizzards.

Production Information

The Bike Shed, Exeter, December 18-January 12

Created by Tinder Theatre
Ian Nicholson
Tinder Theatre
Gethin Alderman, Sam Gibbs, Anna Zehentbauer
Running time

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