Setting sail on Shackleton's legendary voyage

A new one-man play about a remarkable nautical story is coming to town.
Malcolm Rennie in his one-man show Shackleton's CarpenterMalcolm Rennie in his one-man show Shackleton's Carpenter
Malcolm Rennie in his one-man show Shackleton's Carpenter

Malcolm Rennie brings Shackleton’s Carpenter to the Adam Smith Theatre in October.

It tells the story of the Endurance which set sail under the charge of Sir Ernest Shackleton in 1914, sank and left 28 men stranded on the Antarctic ice cap.

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Their subsequent survival and rescue was down in part to Harry McNish, the ship’s carpenter who ingeniously adapted the three remaining life boats to withstand the extreme rigours of polar sea travel.

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He was also the only man to openly disagree with Shackleton’s escape plan, an action which cost him the prestigious Polar Medal.

Malcolm brings his story to the stage as he looks back on what happened.

The play begins in 1930 with McNish, ill and destitute, sleeping in an old lifeboat on the wharf in Wellington New Zealand.

He re-lives his Endurance experiences, conjuring up the ghosts of his past, and, in his fevered mind he recalls his shipmates, McLeod, Green, the hated Orde-Lees, his cat, Mrs Chippy, shot by Shackleton, and most tellingly, the boss himself and their fateful quarrel.

Malcolm has been an actor for over 50 years, and has appeared in over 20 West End shows as well as appearing in Midsomer Murders, Taggart, Pride & Prejudice, Coronation Street, Sherlock and as Fraser in four series of Mr Selfridge.

The play comes to the Adam Smith on Sunday, October 14.