‘Shackleton’s Carpenter’ comes to The Playhouse

'Shackleton's Carpenter' by Gail Louw will be on stage at The Playhouse next week.
'Shackleton's Carpenter' by Gail Louw will be on stage at The Playhouse next week.

HiLo Productions present a major 23 venue UK and Ireland tour of Shackleton’s Carpenter by Gail Louw with Malcolm Rennie as Harry McNish.

In August 1914, as war broke out, the Endurance set sail for the Antarctic led by Sir Ernest Shackleton. Over 15 months later, crushed by the ice of the Weddell Sea, the Endurance sank and 28 men were stranded on the Antarctic ice cap.

Their subsequent survival and rescue was down in part to Harry McNish, the ship’s carpenter who ingeniously adapted the three remaining life boats to withstand the extreme rigours of polar sea travel. He was also the only man to openly disagree with Shackleton’s escape plan, an action which cost him the prestigious Polar Medal.

The adventure will be relived at The Playhouse next week in ‘Shackleton’s Carpenter’ by Gail Louw.

Starring Malcolm Rennie (‘Sherlock’, ‘Coronation Street’, ‘Mr Selfridge’) as Harry McNish, the play will come to artillery street theatre on Wednesday, October 24 at 8pm.

The play begins in 1930 with McNish, ill and destitute, sleeping in an old lifeboat on the wharf in Wellington NZ. He awakes and re-lives his Endurance experiences, conjuring up the ghosts of his past. In his fevered mind he recalls his shipmates, McLeod, Green, the hated Orde-Lees, his cat, Mrs Chippy, shot by Shackleton, and most tellingly, the Boss himself and their fateful quarrel.

Malcolm Rennie has been an actor for over 50 years, and has appeared in over 20 West End shows. His TV and film appearances include Midsomer Murders, Taggart, Ransom, Pride & Prejudice, The Lenny Henry Show, The Accountant, Monarch of the Glen, Coronation Street, Sherlock and as Fraser in four series of Mr Selfridge.

Multi-award winner Gail Louw’s plays have been performed throughout the world. Her play ‘Blonde Poison’, (Argus Award for Artistic Excellence), has been performed at the Sydney Opera House. ‘Duwayne’ won Best New Play at the Brighton Festival. Both ‘The Mitfords’ and ‘Being Brahms’ have toured to great acclaim and two collections of her plays have been published by Oberon Books.

Shackleton’s Carpenter is supported by the UK Antarctic Heritage Trust.

‘Shackleton’s Carpenter’ by Gail Louw will come to The Playhouse on Wednesday, October 24 at 8pm. Contact The Playhouse Box Office on (028)71268027 or visit www.derryplayhouse.co.uk.