Another New World

This was not quite the show I was expecting. Another new world told the story of a ship from the 18th century that is in search of the Northwest Passage. The Northwest Passage is a sea route along the northern coast of North America that joins the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Ultimately, this expedition led many crews to their death as their ships struck ice and sunk into the cold depths and if the crews were lucky enough (unlucky?) to escape this, they would be left to starve or freeze, whichever came first. This particular show was about this common occurrence, yet it felt much more relatable when the story unfolded in before me. It began with such optimism, an excited captain confident with his new recruit William and his impending expedition. Yet, somehow it felt inevitable that the expedition would not go quite to plan. Will anyone survive? Who will be the first to crack?

When the production began it felt like it had so much potential but, alas, it was not meant to be. It did have some good, touching moments and those cannot be ignored - but the poorer moments seemed to stand out. The production felt long winded yet at only forty minutes long, it was a relatively short show. What could have been expressed in a couple of sentences was strung out into a dramatic monologue which left me bored and confused at times. Both actors gave it a good try although the captain felt as if he held back and Williams’s characterisation as the nervous but experienced explorer was slightly conflicting with his storyline. Neither actors looked particularly comfortable within the show or with each other and this may have added to the occasional awkwardness. Overall this production missed the mark, but there is potential for the future.

The Blurb

Disaster in the Arctic. Only the Captain survives. Should he die with his men, or return home? Hero or coward? A gripping play echoing the tales of Shackleton and Franklin. Captivating new writing from a Chichester Festival Theatre Young Playwright. A perfect insight into the mind of a man completely alone, but with the expectations of an Empire upon him.