Touching the Void on Old Vic stage

BRISTOL Old Vic artistic director Tom Morris fulfills a long-held ambition when his production of Touching the Void opens at the King Street theatre from 8th to 29th September.

David Greig has adapted Joe Simpson’s book, best known in its cinema version. It is a story of personal change in its most vivid and catastrophic form, charting Joe’s struggle for survival on the perilous Siula Grande mountain in the Peruvian Andes in 1985.

The heart of the story is his mental battle as he teeters on the very brink of death and despair in a crevasse from which he can’t possibly climb to safety. Also unforgettable in the story is the appalling dilemma of Simon Yates, perched on an unstable snow-cliff, battered by freezing winds and desperate to rescue the injured Simpson, who hangs from a rope below him.

Knowing that they will both ultimately fall into the void, he makes the critical decision to cut the rope, forever changing both their lives.

Tom Morris is particularly pleased to be directing the play in the Old Vic’s Year of Change.  He says: “After 12 years of dreaming, I’m thrilled to finally be able to direct this quintessential story of survival which has become a classic in its own lifetime. This next chapter in Bristol Old Vic’s Year of Change season looks at the life-changing decisions of two extraordinary men whose story has transcended mountaineering history. They are individuals who faced agonising choices and triumphed in a battle for life itself.”

After its Bristol run, Touching the Void tours to partner theatres at Edinburgh and Northamp­ton and on to subsequent UK and international dates.

Performances are at 7.30, with some Thursday and Saturday matinees at 2.30.

For more information, telephone 0117 987 7877 or visit the website,  www.bristololdvic.org.uk