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Touching the Void

David Greig
Date Published
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In 1928 a journalist asked George Mallory why he wanted to climb Everest. Mallory said, ‘Because it’s there.’

Joe Simpson’s memoir Touching the Void, international bestseller and BAFTA-winning film, charts his struggle for survival on the perilous Siula Grande mountain in the Peruvian Andes aged twenty-five.

Adapted for the stage by David Greig, Joe’s story explodes into a bold theatrical fantasia. We discover the counter-cultural world of Alpine climbing and the sensual joy of the mountains; we bear witness to the appalling moment when Joe’s climbing partner Simon Yates, battered by freezing winds and tethered to the injured Simpson, makes the critical decision to cut the rope.

Tense, funny and inquisitive, Touching the Void explores the mind’s extraordinarily rich reservoirs of strength and imagination when teetering on the edge of death.

David Greig’s Touching the Void premiered at Bristol Old Vic, Bristol in September 2018.

Critic Reviews

After two nail-biting hours, you feel as if you’ve been to the ends of the earth without moving from your seat, experiencing the in-extremis odyssey inch by howling inch. What more stirring testament to human fortitude and the power of theatre could there be?

Critic Reviews

David Greig finds humour amid the horror in this triumphant stage adaptation…The obstacle of reaching the heights at the start of a new theatre era has been triumphantly surmounted.


David Greig was born in Edinburgh. His plays include Europe, The Architect, The Speculator, The Cosmonaut’s Last Message to the Woman He Once Loved in the Former Soviet Union, Outlying Islands, San Diego, Pyrenees, The American Pilot, Yellow Moon: The Ballad of Leila and Lee, Damascus, Midsummer [a play with songs], Dunsinane, The Monster in the Hall and The Strange…

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