Antarctica Announces Closure after Ten DaysDate: 19 October 2001
The UK premiere of David Young's Antarctica has posted closing notices just a week and a half after opening in the West End. The play opened at the Savoy Theatre on 9 October, following previews from 25 September, and had been booking up to 29 December 2001. It will now close on 3 November 2001.
Although the subject matter, set design and young cast received plaudits, the play itself was generally poorly received by critics who felt it to be overlong and slow. The intimate nature of the piece was also seen to be mismatched to the large capacity Savoy, while the largely unknown author and cast has made it more difficult to lure in audiences who are already thin on the ground.
Antarctica follows the trail of Victor Campbell's scientific team, who accompanied Captain Robert F Scott's ill-fated trek. Campbell and his crew, who went to study native penguin life, were stranded in an ice cave in a place they called "Inexpressible Island". With no winter clothing, only seven weeks of rations and six months away from the advent of spring, the men faced a fight for survival. In the real world, this week marks the 100th anniversary of Scott's departure for the Antarctic.
Antarctica was first seen in 1997 in David Young's native Canada, where it was well received. The London production is directed by Richard Rose, the founding artistic director of Toronto's Necessary Angel Theatre, with set and costume design from Rae Smith, lighting by Bruno Poet and sound by Christopher Shutt. It is presented in the West End by Joseph Winogradoff.
- by Terri Paddock