Cornelius uses Scott’s ill-fated expedition to the South Pole as an allegory for life in an aged care facility and the final journey which all of us must make. As the characters Scott, Bowers, Evans, Wilson and Oates trudge across an alien landscape they grapple with life’s big questions, pitting their wits against the “dying of the light”.
The actual explorers ate dinner at the Royal Hotel in Cardiff and set sail on the ‘Terra Nova’ from Roath Dock in June 1910. In Melbourne, four months later, Scott learned of Amundsen’s intention to go for the South Pole rather than the North, and realised it was going to be a race.
Commissioned and directed by Julian Meyrick, Strategic Professor of Creative Arts at Flinders University in Adelaide, the first, and only, professional production of “Do Not Go Gentle” took place in Melbourne exactly 100 years later. “The glory of the stage is that it can raise a metaphor to a level beyond everyday reality, yet remain in touch with its underlying meaning. It can show us what is under our noses but eludes our attention,” said Meyrick.
Funny, poignant, sometimes sad, this play is about seeing beyond the inevitable ravages of time and celebrating the creativity and indomitable spirit that makes us human.