In 1912 Captain Robert Scott set out to be the first man to reach the South Pole. He did reach the South Pole, but discovered he had already been beaten to it by five weeks. On his return journey, Scott and his party died from exhaustion and extreme cold.
Or at least that's what they want you to think.
In Gonzo Moose's production of Great Scott! the play asks the question no one is asking: what if Captain Scott and his party died fighting to save the world from aliens? The play is set up as a presentation from Professor George Cranston to The Brinkley Conspiracy Society, with the cast even passing out leaflets at the beginning of the show about the speaker to set the scene. The group then faithfully recreates what may have happened in Antarctica.
The show's three stars, Mark Dawson, Alys Torrance, and Ben Whitehead, played a rotating cast of characters, not only on the expedition but in the presentation to the conspiracy society as well. As a testament to the skill of the performers, every character was played with gravitas. Whether it's Dawson's yearning poetic portrayal of Captain Scott, Torrance's Nipper who, to the shock of the crew, is in fact a woman, or Whitehead's suave Doctor, each character only added into the fun of the adventure. In particular, every character Whitehead played seemed to bring the most laughs out of the audience with his wide range of characters.
Gonzo Moose, known for their historical farces and improvisation in previous shows like What the Dickens and I'm An Aristocrat, Get Me Out Of Here, stay mostly with what has worked in previous shows, using the real historical background of Scott's expedition and taking it to all sorts of new places using a very simple set, including fantastic overhead projector work. Even simple objects like bubble wrap will never be looked at in the same way.
The performers were especially adept at moments when things didn't go right, and used it as a chance to improvise and interact with the crowd. When the cast couldn't help but laugh during a particularly tricky scene with the characters putting on literally, many hats, it showed a very human side of the performers.
While it isn't going to change anyone idea's of Captain Scott (hopefully), it was certainly fun and engaging, even in the moments when it may not have actually been great, it was always at least very good. Great Scott! would warm even the coldest of hearts.