THE CONQUEST OF THE SOUTH POLE
Rheingold Club, London W1
Opened ?? March, 1991

Manfred Karge's hopeless young heroes may speak in brutal verse (you could envisage them spraying "v" on gravestones, if any were handy), but their re-enactment of Amundsen's quest embarked upon in order to stave off literally lethal boredom is the catalyst both for some moderately affecting male-bonding rites and for broader considerations of what it is to be a winner or a loser, an Amundsen or a Shackleton.

Michael Brophy's Slater plays smoothly across the range of responses demanded of him, but his colleagues are less comfortable, veering either towards the mildly operatic or the just plain mild in one case, a character emerges less likely to be nicknamed Moose than Mousse. The play itself transcends these weaknesses, but it demands and deserves rather more.

Written for City Limits magazine.

Copyright Ian Shuttleworth; all rights reserved.

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