News - Fri 19th Dec 2014 - A View From The Top of the World – At The Heart Of The Peak District - Heason Events

A View From The Top of the World – At The Heart Of The Peak District

19th Dec 2014

Climbing enthusiasts and armchair adventurers are invited to A Night on Everest to discover the truths, myths and facts about the legendary Everest expedition of 1924.  The double bill opens with the play ‘Mallory – Beyond Everest’ followed by the film ‘The Epic Of Everest’.

Mallory - Beyond Everest is a one-man play about George Mallory who vanished on the infamous mountain along with fellow mountaineer, Andrew “Sandy” Irvine during the historic expedition 90 years ago.

After a successful run at the Edinburgh Fringe, actor John Burns is now touring the hour long play about Mallory, asking one question – If he had survived what demons would have haunted him?

S0001250- Capt. Noel 1922

In reality Mallory met his death attempting to be the first person to climb the mountain, but in the play, the climber has survived and relives his three attempts on Everest.

John Burns said: “I’m delighted to be able to bring my play to Buxton.  I love the wildness of the moors of the Peak District and have spent many days walking on its hills and climbing on its crags, I’m looking forward to coming back to an area I love.”

“When I began writing the play I knew very little about Mallory other than he had lost his life on the mountain.  When I began to explore who he was and the challenges he faced I became fascinated by this driven man.”

 We will never know if Mallory was the first person to stand on the summit of Everest.  Only he and Sandy Irvine hold the key to that question.  I am certain that Mallory had the courage and the determination to overcome any barrier in his path, even if it cost him his life.”

John Norton, son of Edward Norton who led the 1924 expedition said of the play: “A sensible and credible ‘might have been’ account of how the 1924 expedition could have ended.”

Audience reaction:

Very well conceived.  Convincingly acted and brilliantly executed.  A good hour well spent.  Highly recommend.”
Imaginative, sincere in content, intelligent script and well acted.”

The Epic of Everest is remarkable 85 minute record of the infamous expedition of 1924.  Filming in brutally harsh conditions with a hand-cranked camera, Captain John Noel captured images of breathtaking beauty and considerable historic significance.

A restoration by the BFI National Archive has transformed the quality of the surviving elements of the film and reintroduced the original coloured tints and tones. Revealed by the restoration, few images in cinema are as epic – or moving – as the final shots of a blood red sunset over the Himalayas.

A newly commissioned score composed, orchestrated and conducted by Simon Fisher Turner (The Great White Silence) features a haunting combination of electronic music, found sounds, western and Nepalese instruments and vocals.

Organiser, Matt Heason of Heason Events said: “We’re delighted to present this double bill combining a new play with beautifully restored archive film footage.  The Mallory mystery has an enduring fascination and we hope to pay tribute to this notorious mountain and the brave climbers who made those first attempts to scale her.”

A Night on Everest is taking place at Buxton’s Pavilion Arts Centre on Saturday 24th of January 2015 at 7.30pm. There will be an interval between the play and the film.

Tickets are £11 and £14 (Half price for JSA/Income Support/Students/Children; Groups of 8 or more/Senior Citizens/Disabled: £1 off; Matcham Cards/Buxton Breaks: £1.50 off)

3 web res images from film attached:
1. Expedition outside tent; 2. Sunset Over Everest 3. Capt Noel taking photos.  More images & high res versions here:



Notes to Editors

  • Contacts: For media enquiries please contact Rebecca Cassidy on or Lissa Cook on / 07818 411 791.
  • Read more about playwright and performer, John Burns, here at his blog:
  • Heason Events – speakers, films & events for adventurous spirits and minds. Based in Grindleford in the Peak District, Matt Heason organises the Sheffield Adventure Film Festival, the Buxton Adventure Festival and promotes the European Outdoor Film Tour and Brit Rock Film Tour. 01433 639378 /


Pavilion Arts Centre (part of the Buxton Opera House)