Held in the Chrysalis Theatre in Milton Keynes, it may not be the most obvious of starting venues, but every tour has to start and finish somewhere. Hidden behind Willen Lake, the structure of the theatre held a small but well thought out performance stage. As someone with a distinct lack of height, I was happy to view the entire evening, with an uninterrupted panorama.
After being announced on stage, Andy’s first words of “I was wondering if you were going to tap dance” showed he was back, with the crowd duly laughing.
For those looking for a break down of all Andy said, stop reading now. You won’t find it.
What I can report is Cold Mountain is more structured than previous talks. No longer will you find yourself jumping through the years, from Patagonian snow caves to the blank canvas of Greenland. Instead there is a story, first of his childhood, followed by one of epic proportions.
So epic in fact, Hollywood would struggle to write such a tale and would manage to water it down when writing the screen play, with critics saying it was based not on truth but a wives tale. Starting on the Troll wall, or to the less informed.... a slab of Norwegian rock guaranteed to kill you, where rescue is illegal. Andy takes the audience to the last great wilderness of Antarctica, where peaks break through a desolate landscape, few with routes climbed. Throw in TV crews, Base jumpers and a Norwegian Explorer with a head of hair that is striking, this isn't a tale of crimp by crimp, with the occasional jug thrown in for good measure.
With an underlying message throughout, and small personal messages for each audience member to extract, Andy offers something for all levels of big wall climbing and adventure seekers, whether they are long term followers or new to his unique blend of comedy and story telling.
Andy is back with a total of 28 tour dates. Speaking to colleagues 24 hours after the event, everyone’s thoughts were unanimous. We had a really great time and there was a new dimension to his masochistic levels of endurance and pain infliction.
Furthermore, there is something in Andy which we can all relate to, with that something special that we can't help but find ourselves gravitate towards.
I highly recommend you make the effort to head out into a wet and cold winters night to your local theatre. Cold Mountain is spectacular on many levels. So many that I have yet to process everything I witnessed and absorbed.
Hull’s greatest climber is back, even if his beard “grows like a lesbians.”
For more information and tickets - http://andy-kirkpatrick.com/event