A play marking the 150th anniversary of an eccentric Lake District character who spent much of his time living in a cave will be staged deep underground.
The one-man drama dedicated to the self-proclaimed ‘professor of adventure’ Millican Dalton will take place at the Honister Slate Mine next month.
The site, between Borrowdale and Buttermere, came to the rescue as performer Peter Macqueen was searching for a suitable venue. Macqueen’s play, with the author as Millican, was first seen in the more traditional surroundings of the Theatre by the Lake last year.
Mr Macqueen said: “As I was writing The Professor last year it suddenly dawned on me that I was a year early – his 150th anniversary would be in 2017.
“Luckily the play has been well received and I have continued to tour it. But I was desperate to perform it on the actual day, 20 April, and couldn’t find a venue.
“The theatre and the cave were both unavailable and a village hall in Lincolnshire didn’t seem appropriate. Then Honister got in touch, and my search ended. I’m thrilled to be able to perform on this special day in this special place – and I don’t even have to bring my set.”
Part mountain guide, part philosopher, Dalton is famed for spending much of his life living in a cave in Borrowdale after leaving behind his ’stifling’ City job in London. He spent the next 40 years of his life searching for freedom and happiness living amongst nature.
The unique performance in Honister’s Fiddler’s Cavern will mark the anniversary of Dalton’s birth and will also coincide with Honister’s revival as a working mine 20 years ago this spring.
The mine’s co-owner Jan Wilkinson said: “The underground setting of Fiddler’s Cavern is the perfect place to stage this play and give the audience a unique insight into the life of a true Lake District legend, who embraced the ultimate alternative lifestyle long before it became fashionable.
“Professor of Adventure is just the first in a series of special events and performances we’re bringing to Honister this year to mark our landmark 20th anniversary.”
Professor of Adventure will be performed at Honister Slate Mine at 6pm on Thursday 20 April. Tickets cost £20 and can be booked by ringing 017687 77230.