Women Mountaineers Reach for the Heights

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Jan Bolwell’s new play Taking the High Ground delves into the lives of two
outstanding climbers. Freda du Faur, an Australian, was the first woman to
scale Aoraki/Mount Cook in 1910. Lydia Bradey, a New Zealander, was the first
woman to scale Mount Everest solo and without oxygen in 1988.
Bolwell pushes the women together across time to confront each other about
their climbing worlds and the challenges they face in both their professional
and personal lives.Taking the High Ground is presented in a very physical
way. Much of the action takes place high up on a scaffolded set. Bolwell
says: ‘ I am also a dancer and choreographer and I want the audience to
experience the sheer physicality of climbing. It’s a great challenge for
the actors.’

Lydia Bradey is still a high profile member of the mountaineering world and
gave Bolwell permission to use her story in this play. A recent book on
Lydia’s life Going Up is Easy written with her close friend Laurence
Fearnley provides much of the background material.

 

It has been a busy year for Jan Bolwell. She directed the hit show
Destination Beehive 2017 at Circa Theatre, and has just completed a national
tour of her play Bill Massey’s Tourists about her grandfather’s WW1
experiences. She hopes to tour this new play too.

For more information see the full Media Release

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