Tom Crean – Antarctic Explorer

The Story of how Tom Crean beat the Antarctic

Aidan Dooley tells the story of one of Ireland’s unsung heroes in this award winning solo production.

Reliving the riveting true story of Crean’s Antarctic explorations as one of only a few men to have served with both Scott and Shackleton and survive three famous expeditions, all told in this dramatic and humorous account.

Crean’s first experience of exploration was when he volunteered for Captain Scott’s Discovery Expedition of 1901-01 which aimed to carry out scientific research and geographical exploration in what was then largely an untouched continent.

The Discovery Expedition launched the Antarctic careers of many who would become leading figures in what was later to be known as the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration.

Captain Scott’s ill-fated Terra Nova Expedition of 1911–13 saw the race to reach the South Pole lost to Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen and also ended in the deaths of Scott and his polar party. Crean received the Albert Medal for Lifesaving due to the role he played in the expedition when he made a 35 mile solo walk across rough terrain on the Ross Ice Shelf to save the life of Edward Evans.

Tom Crean


Crean’s final expedition was that of the Imperial Transantarctic Expedition of 1914 where he joined Ernest Shackleton, who was also Irish born, on what was known as the Endurance Expedition.

Yet another expedition fraught with danger and misfortune, the party’s ship named ‘Endurance’ became well and truly stuck in the ice and during the efforts to work the ship free, Crean narrowly avoided being crushed. For months the ship remained stuck until it eventually sank. The expedition party began a long and tireless journey to get help lasting more than two years.

Aidan Dooley’s critically acclaimed account of Tom Crean’s incredible expeditions has sold out performances throughout Ireland, USA, Australia and Europe while 2015 has seen the tour return to the UK by popular demand.

Play On Words Theatre presents Tom Crean – Antarctic Explorer at The Playhouse on Sunday 8th November to Monday 9th November at 8pm, with tickets priced at £12.50.


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