The Bike Shed Theatre

The Last March


The Last March is the story of the great British polar hero, Captain Scott . Tragically comic or comically tragic, tinder tells Scott's story from the hopeful beginnings, full of promise, to the snow swept tragic end.

With corks popped, footballs kicked and dogs whipped, we tell the story of England's proudest and most foolhardy gentleman adventurer in his life or death race against the merciless Norwegian explorer, Admundsen.

Using spirited humour, frantic physicality and bucket loads of revitalising tea, we bring to life the rivalry for conquering the South Pole.

The Last March is a thrilling, chilling, winter tale for all the family. Wrap up warm and join the saga.

Tickets from £5. Previews Tuesday 18th and Wednesday 19th January

Rehearsal Diary

Wednesday 5th December 2012.

We had a lovely photo session Richard.

Then we played two quick games of four squares, which Gethin won both times.
He plays quick and tricks everyone, especially Anna which often results in small burst of anger.

We had a read of Jesse’s scenes. Really fun! We will look at them closer and use them as provocations to write new text for various scenes in the same witty style. To fill the scenes with more detail that we already have created a skeleton to.

Travelling to the Pole. How do you make a skiing scene, traveling towards the Pole fun and interesting when you don’t have Ski’s, snow or passing scenery? You make and awkward Tea break scene with contrasting Amundsen’s quick and frantic racing. We explored swapping between Scott’s quiet and relaxed tea break to Amundsen’s sledge with dogs. We found the idea and frame for that scene.

Scott and Oats talking and bickering childishly, with insults. It went quite loud and silly. Maybe the way to go is to keep it 'gentlemanish' and subtle.

The two different huts. Scott’s with football games, Christmas party and fun VS Amundsen’s «boring» Norwegian silence and seriousness. We found that there is not so much Norway is «known for» and it can be rather boring there. We tried out and want to make a presentation on Norway. Did you know this exist or was invented in Norway? Cheese Knifes/ Paper Clips/ Grieg/ Ibsen and A-HA. Silent/ awkward and serious VS British over politeness and banter.

From The Norwegian.

Captain’s Log – Tuesday 04/12 – Day 6

pengEach and every day brings new interpretations and thoughts on each moment, in what can only be described as an epic story. In order that we can tell as much as this as we would like, we’ve been working on keeping things active and concise, particularly at the beginning where you need a bit of exposition for those who maybe aren’t familiar with the tale but keeping it interesting and also not boring those that know the history. At the same time I think it’s fair to say that this isn’t the most historically accurate retelling but you have to ask yourself how much is in play and how much isn’t – leaving Scott alive at the end certainly can’t change (sorry for the spoiler).

After going through up to the point we’d got to so far (keeping some things the same, changing others) we moved on to meeting Amundsen, Scott’s rival, for the first time. Firstly, I get to be a dog so I’m enjoying that. We’ve tried Amundsen a number of ways – only speaks Norwegian, speaks fake Norwegian, speaks English with an over done Norwegian accent. I think we’ve settled on speaking real Norwegian (Anna is Norwegian after all), but none of the rest of us understand a thing and neither will most of the audience we assume – so Sam and I, as dogs, are his translators for the audience.

The other great development this week is having the actual wooden boxes in the rehearsal room which serve as set, props and anything else we can come up with. They bring a great aesthetic to the piece and along with the red brick walls of the Bike Shed should look great.

Moving on we looked at setting sail and leaving for Antarctica, sailing on the boat, the storms (I get a lot of water spat in my face), and sailing through the pack ice. In the later part of the day we jumped to later on in the piece to try out some ideas that had been popping up for the end and to explore a bit more of Kathleen’s (Scott’s wife) involvement in our telling – does her presence help us tell the story, reminding us that there are other people affected by this race and not just the ones in the Antarctic.

Today it must also be noted that it was Anna’s turn in rehearsal ‘Come dine with me’ and she made a fantastic olive, avocado, mozzarella, spinach, tomato and onion salad, dressed with olive oil and balsamic vinegar with Naan bread on the side. A good meal was had by all.

I won a lot at four square too, the others really need to try harder if they want to beat me.

G. Alderman


last1Monday morning, the second week of the Last March rehearsals. Everyone came in inspired from a weekend of reading, watching, digesting and generally obsessing about Scott, Amundsen and their respected journeys south 100 years ago. But before we got stuck in to the task at hand we got down to the other important matter of the day… 4 Square! This game has gripped, divided and bonded us all over the last week, today was no exception, an electric atmosphere with ranting, protesting, gamesmanship and generally tomfoolery set us up nicely for the day ahead.
Our first week of rehearsals had given us the chance to play with one another and various props and devises that would be fun to use, we set these up and began to plough through the story, blocking each scene in its basic structure on what needed to be covered, this gave us a chance to gain perspective on how the show is unfolding and how we are progressing.
Excitement ensued at midday when a delivery dropped off a key part of our set and our designer brought some more toys for us to play with, with these fresh additions our afternoon proved to be fantastically productive.
Ian our Director has been prodding, poking and provoking us to find beautiful moments, Vicky, our Designer has been ensuring that we have the toys (I should really call them toys but props sounds to formal for my liking!) to stumble across new discoveries and moments, with all of these things at our disposal Anna, Gethin and myself powered through a great afternoon and by close of play we were really beginning to see the shape of the beast ahead of us.


It’s worth noting that our ‘Come Dine With Me’ rehearsal dinners really heated up today, Gethin providing a delicious soup that raised the bar for tomorrow’s contestant!

On a side note, here is a Seal which I believe is trying to do an impression of 1980's kids animation sensation Morph...