A Hundred Words For Snow
Trafalgar Studio 2 March 2019
Tales of exploration are almost always about men, often carrying out heroic feats on this or other planets.
Tatty Hennessy gives us a break from all that with her play A Hundred Words for Snow, a bright, gentle, moving monologue spoken by the unlikely explorer Rory, a teenage girl played engagingly by Gemma Barnett.
It opens just after the funeral of Rory's dad, a geography teacher killed on his way home from work by a hit and run driver. Rory is dismissive of the funeral events and mentions far too casually that she usually walked home with him but didn't on that occasion.
The remote way she speaks of these things makes us suspect she is having difficulty with grief or perhaps guilt.
But with the discovery of her dad's diaries full of his dreams of visits he never took to the North Pole, she gets an idea that gives her a purpose. She will take his ashes to the North Pole.
'Borrowing' her mum's credit card, she sets out on a journey that takes her to a museum in a far off country where she learns about a woman explorer, a meeting with the 'cool' lad Andreas who invites her back to his bed after a party, and, closer to the frozen North, an encounter with the painter Freda who is concerned to see such a young girl travelling alone.
On route Rory quotes from the books of a male explorer, describes the five different North Poles and is wonderfully entertaining
Gemma Barnett.s lively conversational style is always amusing both in the things she says and the innocent confidence of her manner. Everything we hear is realistic, but there is something of a magical improbability about the story.
It's a show that cheers its audience to the very end.
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Review - A Hundred Words For Snow - Trafalgar Studios 2019