Marking 100 years since Shackleton’s celebrated Endurance expedition departed for Antarctica, Kiwi alt-folksters Bond Street Bridge are set to melt hearts in the Victorian premiere of The Explorers Club: Antarctica at the Melbourne Fringe Hub from 27 September.
Using spoken-word storytelling, original folk songs, heritage images and new illustrations, the band bring the tales of Scott, Shackleton, and the heroic age of Antarctic exploration to life in an award-winning production critics have called ‘a perfect evening of music.’
This unique show is product of NZ group Bond Street Bridge frontman Sam Prebble’s obsession with the stories and heroes of the dramatic period of history a century ago. Reading diaries, letters, and published accounts of the early Antarctic expeditions, Prebble has used the words of the explorers themselves to create songs which pay tribute to their legacy and celebrate the indomitable spirit of this lost age.
Accessing heritage photographs taken by the explorers on the ice, the band commissioned artist Emily Cater to produce a series of illustrations responding to the stories and songs, which accompany the performance as cinematic projections.
This year marks the centenary of Shackleton’s extraordinary feat of survival aboard the Endurance, and this story is retold in the show along with the tale of Scott’s disastrous attempt on the South Pole two years earlier. The crew of the Endurance experienced two years of extraordinary hardship between 1914 and 1916 when their ship was crushed by ice in the Weddell Sea, and Shackleton’s remarkable leadership and courage in bringing all of his 27 crew home safe has become legendary.
Since its premiere in the 2013 NZ Fringe, The Explorers Club: Antarctica has played over 100 times around New Zealand at Arts Festivals, museums, galleries and theatres. Winning the award for best music at the 2013 NZ Fringe Awards, the show has drawn critical acclaim and packed houses around the country.
The show’s formidable live reputation has seen the band invited to perform the work at gala events at New Zealand’s top museums and festivals, and in early 2014, Bond Street Bridge toured with Billy Bragg, presenting the show at some of the country’s premier live music venues.
The Explorers Club: Antarctica
Upstairs At Errol’s, 69 – 71 Errol Street, North Melbourne
Season: 27 September – 4 October 2014
Bookings: (03) 9660 9666 or online at: www.melbournefringe.com.au
Image: Brendan Turner, Sam Prebble and Nina McSweeney – photo by Michael Edge-Perkins