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Pat Moylan Productions & Play on Words in association with 3Olympia Theatre

Tom Crean - Antarctic Explorer

Price from €21.50
Ticket status Tickets Available
Tom Crean - Antarctic Explorer
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Tom Crean - Antarctic Explorer returns to 3Olympia Theatre from 25th July to 5th August 2023.

Tickets priced from €21.50 including booking fee & €1.50 restoration levy on sale with www.ticketmaster.ie.

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”.

quote This magnetic revelation of a fascinating character, simply compels a standing ovation.
Gerry Colgan - The Irish Times

Tom Crean – Antarctic Explorer  written and performed by Aidan Dooley premiered in 2003 at 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’.

The show originated from a fifteen minute Living History performance on Tom Crean, created for London’s National Maritime Museum’s Antarctic Exhibition ‘South’ in 2001. Following the publication of Michael Smith’s book about Tom Crean called ‘Unsung Hero’, the show was developed over a two year period with several small try-out performances in Ireland, including a performance in front of Crean’s remaining family, at the Tom Crean Society’s memorial in Annascaul.

Between 2004 and 2005 the show toured to over 30 venues across Ireland, and also played two sell-out seasons at the Northern Stage Theatre Vermont, USA.

2006 saw the show return to the USA, playing a sell-out three week season at The Sugan Theatre at Boston Centre for the Arts, where the show was nominated for ‘Outstanding Solo Performance’ at that years’ Elliot Norton, Boston Theatre Critics Awards. The show then returned to Ireland to play the first of two sell-out, five week seasons at Andrews Lane Theatre Dublin. The second seasonfollowed the triumphant success at the 2006 Edinburgh Fringe Festival, where the show won a Fringe First Award.

In 2007 after its sell-out success at the Brighton Festival, the show returned to Ireland to play two capacity weeks at Dublin’s 3Olympia Theatre, before travelling to the Adelaide Fringe Festival Australia, via seasons in Florida, Vermont, Malta, Dubai and Geneva. It then returned to the USA to play an eight week sell-out season at the Award Winning Irish Repertory Theatre in New York, returning to the UK for a four week tour.

2008 saw the production receive its London premier at the New End Theatre, where it played for six weeks to capacity houses and was awarded the ‘Time Out’ Critics Choice. It then returned to Dublin for a third sell-out week engagement at the 3Olympia Theatre which, by popular demand, then transferred to the Gaiety Theatre Dublin, for a further two weeks.

From 2009 the show continued to tour extensively both in Ireland and internationally. In 2013, the show had its first tour of N.Ireland, its sixth visit to the 3Olympia Theatre, and completed an Irish tour including Cork’s Everyman Theatre for the eighth time. In 2014 the show was seen in New Zealand at the International Arts Festival and in 2015 & 2017 returned ‘by popular demand’ to tours of UK and Ireland. 2018 saw the show in Luxembourg and the beautiful Gaiety Theatre. It now returns again to 3Olympia Theatre in 2023 for a summer run.

quote A remarkable and uplifting piece of theatre, gives everything and asks nothing.
Emer O’Kelly, Sunday Independent
About Tom Crean

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.

About Aidan Dooley

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.

About Play on Words Theatre

Formed in 1990 and is based at The Brook Theatre, Chatham Kent, in the UK,with support from Medway Council. The company has produced : ‘Prostitutes Only Marry in May’ (formerly Sister Queens) tours of N. Ireland and Scotland; Tom Crean - Antarctic Explorer (2001-18), touring Ireland, UK,Australia, USA including a Fringe First @ The Edinburgh Festival ’06; Galway Girl and Melody for Medway Fuse Festival 2009. It toured Ireland in 2011-2013 with: Our Last Chieftain - O’Sullivan Beara. Its educational arm hastoured Romeo & Juliet, Macbeth and numerous workshop performances onmany of Shakespeare’s plays, as well as performances on science and history forschools.

It runs drama summer schools and is resident directing company for The Brook Youth Theatre, Chatham. Its production ‘Only Prostitutes Marry in May’ (the relationship between Queen Eliz. 1 & Mary Queen of Scots) was seen at Waterloo East Theatre, London, where it  eceived a nomination in the ‘Off West-End  Awards’ for best female performance. It has co- produced the acclaimed and highly successful Christmas shows for 3 – 6 year olds with The Creatives (Icon Theatre / Loop Dance) @ The Brook Theatre, Chatham, 2010-2018.

About Pat Moylan

As Artistic Director of Andrews Lane Theatre, Dublin for 18 years, the theatre became a centre of excellence where thousands of patrons enjoyed hundred of shows during its lifetime. Pat first produced Stones in His Pockets by Marie Jones at Andrews Lane which went on to play London’s West End for five years and transfer to Broadway. She also co-produced Tom Crean - Antarctic Explorer by Aidan Dooley which went on to win a Fringe First at the Edinburgh Festival and has since played to capacity houses in the much larger 3Olympia Theatre, Dublin. In 2001, Pat founded Lane Productions with Breda Cashe and the successful duo have produced a number of highly acclaimed shows, Alone It Stands, 12 Angry Men, Deadline, 84 Charing Cross Road, I Keano and The Field with Brian Dennehy.

Pat has also produced a number of other shows in London’s West End including Thoroughly Modern Millie, Triple Espresso, and Women on the Verge of HRT. She has also produced two films The Breakfast and Borstal Boy, both directed by Peter Sheridan. In 2012 Pat produced A Galway Girl by Geraldine Aron, Beowulf The Blockbuster at Project Arts Centre and toured both nationally and internationally. In 2017 Pat produced the world premiere of Angela’s Ashes – The Musical at Lime Tree Theatre, Limerick, Bord Gais Energy Theatre, Dublin and The Grand Opera House, Belfast.

quote This one-man show is a genuine small pleasure, the kind of piece the Fringe often throws up that gives you an insight into unseen and unsung lives.
Lyn Gardner - The Guardian

Restoration Levy

The fees for this event include a €1.50 restoration levy. 

The restoration levy will allow 3Olympia Theatre to invest in maintaining and enhancing the theatre to ensure that it continues to consistently deliver the highest quality experience for theatre goers, actors, performers & producers.

Age Restrictions

Under 14's must be accompanied by an adult.

Over 18's ID required to gain access to the bars where alcohol is served.