3 Quick Questions: Alex Byrne, director of North North North

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We are delighted to welcome back NIE following their previous appearances with Past Half Remembered and Tales from a Sea Journey. The award-winning international theatre company are crash landing in Oxford next week with their world premiere of their latest show, North North North, which retells the true story of the first attempt to reach the North Pole by hot air balloon. We spoke to the show’s director Alex Byrne about what we can expect about their latest production…

What inspired you to make the show?
“In 2011, I travelled to Svalbard to do some research and development on a show about the North Pole. When I visited the museum in Longyearbyen I saw some of the relics from the Andree expedition and became fascinated by the story. I have been working on this show ever since then. I think it’s a story full of the hope and daring do of the late 19th century. It’s also a story of friendship and suffering.”

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Why is the use of projection an important part of the piece?
“There are really amazing pictures that survived from the expedition. They show beautiful details of the technical wonders of the balloon and they also show the three adventurers struggling on the ice. Like the story itself these pictures were lost in the ice for 30 years and pieced together many years later.”

What are the key elements that make up an NIE show?
“Fun, comedy, live music, a direct relation to the audience and a great story.”

Fancy an adventure to the Great White North? Watch the trailer for a sneak peek!



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