Because It's There

This is a play about Hal, who climbs without ropes. We never actually meet Hal but we learn all about him from his father-in-law, his son, his friends and fellow climbers.

The play opens in Siberia, where a group of climbers, including Hal, are about to start climbing a mountain. During this climb a tragic event occurs which is to affect the life of Hal and all around him. Following this, we meet Hal’s father-in-law, who is strongly opposed to Hal’s rock climbing, his son, who doesn’t live with Hal, and various other friends and acquaintances. Even though we never hear Hal speak, we learn all about him and what motivates him. In particular, we discover that he’s obsessed with climbing and only ever feels alive when he’s climbing without ropes.

All the parts are played by Thom Disney, who performs each one extremely well. His voice and personality changes to fit each character and each is totally believable. Through these people we learn all about Hal and by the end of the play feel that we fully understand him. There is no real scenery, other than a small climbing wall, where the play begins and ends. The few props are carefully arranged around the edge of the stage where they are picked up, moved around and replaced as required.

The play is an exploration of obsession and how it can dominate and perhaps ruin somebody’s life. Even though logic tells Hal to give up climbing, which he does for a while, he is unable to stay away for good. In the end he is prepared to risk everything just for the feeling of being alive. A gripping production.

Reviews by Alan Chorley

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The Blurb

A climber hangs halfway up a Siberian rock formation. His name is Hal. And he's screaming. 'A young company with more dash than cash ... this is what the Fringe should be about' (Lyn Gardner, Guardian). **** (Scotsman).

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