By Emma Hanson, Masters, English Literature
I set up the television and get ready as I usually do for a film night with my flatmates. But, this time I am tuning in to the reopening night at Bristol Old Vic Theatre for a live performance of Touching the Void.
The live streamed performance offers an exciting new way to access and experience the theatre, bringing live performances to people all around the world ‘live from Row B of Bristol Old Vic to Rosarito in Mexico.’
Touching the Void captures the true story of Joe Simpson and Simon Yates, whose descent of Siula Grande in the Peruvian Andes becomes a horrific struggle for survival.
Before the opening night, Bristol Old Vic broadcasts a live interview with Joe Simpson and the show’s director, Tom Morris. Joe recounts the horrific accident on which the play is based, describing both the pull and perils of climbing:
‘You’re prepared to push yourself to a point that a lot of people think is ridiculous, and what you got back is intangible, you got a summit. You walk the line between life and death, and because of that you live in the moment.’
The passion conveyed by Joe whetted my appetite even more for the theatrical unfolding of the true life event.