THE STORY: Drawn from the journals and letters found on the frozen body of Captain Scott, the action of the play blends scenes of the explorer and his men at various stages of their ordeal, with flashbacks of Scott and his young wife and with fateful glimpses of his Norwegian rival, Roald Amundsen, whose party beat him to the South Pole. Refusing the use of sled dogs as unsporting, Scott and his team struggle to drag their heavy gear across a frozen wasteland, only to find that Amundsen has preceded them to their goal. The play is also a study of British pride and upper-class resolve—Scott’s aristocratic sense of destiny and command and his young bride’s ability to understand her husband’s compulsive drive while failing to accept his motivations. But it is in the tragic trip back, as the members of the expedition die one by one, that the play reaches its dramatic apogee, capturing with chilling intensity the awesome bravery of men who must accept the bitter knowledge that suffering and death will be the only reward for their heroism.
An extraordinarily inventive play, first presented by the Yale Repertory Theatre and then produced to national acclaim at the renowned Mark Taper Forum, in Los Angeles. Dealing with the ill-fated Antarctic expedition of Robert Falcon Scott, the play employs an ingenious free-form construction to capture the sweep—and personalities—crucial to this compelling study of heroism in the face of bitter failure. “…an impressive first work…” —The Hollywood Reporter. “…explores the heart of courage in a white hell of adversity.” —Time Magazine. “Mr. Tally is a most literate writer.” —NY Times.