Thursday, March 16, 2006

March Snow and Tom Crean

Snowing again today. This morning was actually the first morning I got snowed on all the way into work. I like the snow but I have to say it's a little late in the year for it.

However I cant complain about a little cold weather. I went to see the Tom Crean Antarctic Explorer last night in Andrews Lane Theatre. Aidan Dooley is the actor/writer and he gives an excellent solo performance. The story of Tom Crean is an amazing tale of heroism and survival on three Antarctic expeditions, two with Scott and 1 with Shackleton. He was one of the 3 explorers sent back by Scott before the final 5 made their ill fated attempt to reach the South Pole. He completed the last 36 miles of the journey alone, sending help back for his two companions. When the Antarctic winter ended he then joined the search team for Scott and found the bodies of Scott and his companions. Later he returned with Shackleton during the Endurance expedition and journeyed with Shackleton all the way to Elephant Island, on to South Georgia and back once again to rescue his companions.

In recent years the story of Tom Crean has become more famous within Ireland and this show has Aidan Dooley playing the part of Tom telling the story of his journeys. His dramatic explanation of the gear worn by the explorers and the efforts involved in day to day survival in the Antarctic even before anything goes wrong clearly showed how tough these men were and his tales of Scott and Shackleton had us enthralled as if we were listening to the voice of Tom himself from across the decades. As a work of fiction it would make for a fabulous adventure story, the fact that it is actually a true story makes it a truly amazing tale.

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