A man is found lying in the snow at the foot of the Pyrenees. He remembers nothing, but believes he is British. Anna, a young woman from the British Consulate, is dispatched to confirm his nationality and piece together his identity. When Vivienne, a middle aged woman from Edinburgh arrives, she presents him with a history he doesn’t recognise. Is he who she says he is? As the snow melts on the mountains the man must decide which reality he prefers – Anna’s or Vivienne’s?
Jenny Gore, the Director, writes: ‘David Greig is a prolific playwright, but is relatively unknown outside his native Scotland, even though his plays have been performed in the West End to much acclaim. His plays can be taken at face value, but are open to deeper understanding, as recurring themes in his work are death and rebirth, as well as man’s sense of growing rootlessness.
‘This play is ostensibly about a man who is found in the snow at the foothills of the Pyrenees in France, suffering from amnesia. He is found clutching a scallop shell, a sign of pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela. He is taken to an inn on the slopes with a strange proprietor, Pedro, who has multiple personas.
‘A young woman from the British consulate is sent to try to discover his identity, and they develop a magnetic connection. Then, into the action comes Vivienne who claims to be his wife. Who, if anyone, is telling the truth? Are they in the real world, or is this a kind of purgatory? Pedro is Spanish for Peter. Perhaps this is a clue that the mysterious cloud-shrouded mountain pass is indeed the gates of heaven. The man speaks frequently of the sea, of undertows and dolphins, and he holds a shell. He is said to have feigned his own death by walking into the sea but he says he feels as if he is reborn.
‘Is the entire play really the man’s dying moments? The cast and director have discussed these mysteries and have reached no final verdict. We leave it up to you to come to your own conclusions.’
Jenny directs a talented cast made up of Neil Lloyd, Annie Wade-Smith, Simon Reece and Sally-Anne Buck, who have all acted recently at the Little Theatre. Neil appeared in Lovesong and ‘Allo ‘Allo, Annie was in Going Country and Kelsi and Sam, in the Play Festival, Simon played Richard Hannay in The 39 Steps, and Sally was Nancy, in Gaslight.
Pyrenees runs from Monday to Saturday, 15-20 April, at 7.30pm. Tickets are on sale now, online at www.hblt.co.uk, or can be purchased in person, at Innovation, Hebden Bridge.
Rehearsal photos by Bruce Cutts.