TALES FROM THE WILDERNESS Review – Ben Fogle
BEN FOGLE – Tales from the wilderness Review -Tyne Opera & Theatre House
Ben Fogle came to the Tyne Opera House & Theatre on a cold and rainy Tuesday Night, but being the adventurer he is, he battled the elements to get on stage quite easily. The Venue had kindly given us press tickets to review the show so here we were for the Tales from the wilderness review.
Ben Fogle is someone I know of, i categorised him to be an adventurer and TV presenter but hadn’t watched many of his shows or exploits. I knew i was here to hear him talk of his past experiences, but by the end was left inspired and for someone i’d only briefly seen, it was an inspiring evening listening to his experiences, and found it to be an evening of self discovery and rebuilding one’s self.
With his posh or well spoken tones Ben entered the stage and gave us a big hello. A brief intro and a sincere reading of a now public letter that he left his kids (to be opened on his death only) silence fell across the theatre. An emotional and heartfelt letter telling his two children to go out and live life and experience it. To be the best they can. Words from a potentially absent father. Highlighting that behind the amazing adventures and experiences he has gone through just how serious the repercussion of doing so could entail.
Aided by a projection screen with picture and video we see Ben stranded 48 metres from the top of mount Everest – his childhood dream and ambition..his oxygen mask and tank exploded..will he make it..well its at this point Ben rewinds to the beginning to show us just how he got to this point in life.
An honest and open story telling of his life begins, from a child not being particularly good at much, education and sport alike, lacking confidence it became an expectation not to succeed. Searching for that something in life that would excite and help him discover himself.
We hear his stories of travelling to south america where he spent two years and discovering his passion and independence. Now seeking something more – a day to day job wasn’t enough until he saw an advert for ‘Castaway 2000’ the first kind of reality TV, living on an island for a whole year to see how a community could live and function. I loved his point of reality TV being totally different 19 years ago, as somewhat naive he describes this was for the experience not fame, not be be a social media hit like nowadays where motives to be on TV are very different. How i wish we could rewind the times.
From his appearance on TV, he had been opened up to further opportunities and these included writing a book about travelling around the remaining British colonies (and being deported from one), TV work and presenting. However adventure always seems to be at Ben’s heart, challenging himself to do things that may seem crazy, unprepared or just mad are what drives him. Tales of entering ultra marathons across the dessert, Coming face to face with crocodiles and the challenge and the sense of achievement he gains from having the experience.
However It his friendship with James Cracknell that endears me. To hear the trilogy of events they start and complete and the different mentalities between them, leads to some interesting stories, laughs, sadness and pictures! i wont talk about it because it a great part of the show so don’t want to spoil it.
These events and challenges all lead to the greatest climb of his life – his children. We also learn of family tragedy that reignites a way of living that was nullified – a sad story and truly emotional turn from what we had been hearing previously. To which then brings us to Everest. Being a past event we all know he completed it in the end but it is his words and acknowledgement that for him this was his dream, but to others their dream or challenge may be different, maybe smaller in terms of Everest but maybe just as hard for you. This related to me, For me it was a half marathon. others it may be something personal. ‘Tackle your own Everest’ he says..
You come to see throughout all of it that Ben Fogle may appear to have it all. However this is a story of a man who had to find his way in life, who has challenged himself to be more confident, rebuilding it through the successes he has had and never stopping. An honest and open account into a life that has had both its ups and downs but one that inspires me to do better and take on my own personal Everest.
For more info click the link: https://www.benfogle.com/tour
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