Tom Crean – Antarctic Explorer
dramatic and humorous solo performance
by Aidan Dooley
Friday 27 & Saturday 28 April 2018 @ 19:30 both evenings
Tom Crean (1877-1938) the intrepid Antarctic explorer
and one of Ireland’s unsung heroes is brought to life in this
dramatic and humorous solo performance by Aidan Dooley.
Hear the riveting true stories of Crean’s Antarctic explorations as one of the few men to serve with both Scott and Shackleton and survive three famous expeditions: Discovery, (1901 – 1904); Terra Nova (1910 – 1913); and Endurance (1914 – 1916).
Crean’s story is a testament of human fortitude against all the elements of Antarctic, his 36 mile, solitary trek to base camp during the Terra Nova expedition to rescue his comrades Teddy Evans and William Lashly has been described by Antarctic historians as “the finest feat of individual heroism from the entire age of exploration”.
Born 1877 in Kerry, Ireland. Joined the Royal Navy at 15 years of age. Served on “Discovery” from 1901 – 1904 and “Terra Nova” 1910 – 1913 under Captain Robert Scott and from 1914 – 1916 served on “Endurance” under Sir Ernest Shackleton.
Survived for months trapped on the ice floes after the ship was crushed and journeyed with Shackleton and four others in a 21-foot lifeboat, across the South Atlantic (800 miles). They scaled the uncharted glaciers of South Georgia to reach help for their stricken colleagues left behind. Received the “Albert Medal” for bravery.
Returned to UK in 1916 to serve out the remaining time of WW1 and was medically discharged in 1919. He married a local Irish girl from Annascaul called Nell, and returned home to Ireland. They brought up two daughters Mary and Eileen. Sadly their middle daughter Kate died aged 4 in 1924. He remained in Annascaul, where he ran a public house with Nelle, until his death in 1938 of a burst appendix, aged 61.
Aidan is from Galway. He trained at Guilford School of Acting and works as a freelance actor, writer and director in London. Highlights of his career as an actor include ‘Philadelphia Here I Come’ – Wyndhams Theatre London. ‘Elegies for Angels’ – Criterion Theatre London. ‘DA’ – White Bear Theatre London. ‘Players and Painted Stage’, ‘Last Apache Reunion’ – SOS Theatre Bristol. National Tours of ‘Tales of the Lost Formicans’ – Bristol Old Vic Theatre Company, ‘Julius Caesar’ and ‘Romeo and Juliet’ .
He first performed ‘Tom Crean – Antarctic Explorer’ ten years ago at Siamsa Tire, Tralee for Tom Crean’s family and then at the Medway Fuse Festival followed by The New York International Fringe Festival (Best Solo Show Award Winner). He has also been nominated for awards at The Dublin Festival, Adelaide Fringe Festival and The Elliot Norton Theatre Critics Award Boston and in 2006 won the prestigious Fringe First at Edinburgh. He was seen in Galway Girl and Melody (Celctic Coupling) in the UK Fuse Festival. He has toured his new solo show O’Sullivan Beara – The Last Gaelic Chieftain in April / July this year. He has worked for many years developing various performance pieces and historical characters for all the National Museums in England including the National Maritime Museum Greenwich where the idea of a performance on Tom Crean originated.
He is a Co-Director of Play On Words Theatre Company and after this tour Aidan has worked for many years developing various performance pieces and historical characters for all the National Museums in England including the National Maritime Museum. He is an Associate Lecturer in drama at Canterbury Christ Church University. He lives in Rochester with his wife Miriam and has two children Liam and Nancy.
Journey of The Play
Tom Crean – Antarctic Explorer written and performed by Aidan Dooley premiered at Medway Fuse Festival in 2003 and then onto The New York International Fringe Festival, where it won the ‘Best Solo Performance Award’. In the same year the show played the Dublin Fringe Festival, where it picked up a ‘Best Actor Nomination’.
He was subsequently awarded the Albert Medal for his bravery. This multi-award winning show has now played critically acclaimed sell-out performances throughout.
Organised by the Irish Club of Luxembourg (ICL) and the Luxembourg branch of Comhaltas Ceolteoiri Eireann, with the support of the Embassy of Ireland in Luxembourg.
Tickets €20/person from www.luxembourg-ticket.lu .