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New play casts fresh light on life of Captain Cook

A new stage play is shedding fresh light on one of history's legendary explorers.

Although dramatised in film, there are few - if any - stage productions about Captain James Cook. PACT Productions' new play Resolution is a reimagining of Cook's life and work as a bold and inventive mix of duty, conflict, and high adventure.

The Arts Council England-supported production will tour in the North East in August.

Written by Rob Johnston, winner of the 2011 Kings Cross Award for New Writing and long-listed for the Royal Exchange Manchester's 2017 Bruntwood Prize, Resolution will be staged in and around Whitby, the coastal town where James Cook spent his formative years training for a life at sea.

The play follows Cook's remarkable achievements as the son of a farm labourer, through his long and bitter feud with the British Admiralty's Alexander Dalrymple, map-maker to the Royal Navy and celebrated Edinburgh gentleman.

Dalrymple believed it was he, and not the working-class upstart Cook, who was destined to be the greatest sea-going explorer the British Empire had ever seen.

Resolution tells of a history not written by the victorious, nor dismissed by the conquered, but rather a history seen as the greatest prize a man can possess - but a prize no two men can ever share. 

Two men. Two dreams. One prize.

And fittingly its run will start at the Captain Cook Birthplace Museum in Middlesbrough's Stewart Park, and the tour also includes a performance on board the replica of HM Bark Endeavour now moored in Whitby harbour.

Museums Access Officer Jenny Phillips said: "It's so exciting to see PACT Productions travelling to the North East to stage this performance this summer.

"Everybody is familiar with the achievements of James Cook, but the story of how he was chosen for this voyage in the first place is a lesser known part of the story."

Resolution is at the Captain Cook Birthplace Museum on 22 and 23 August, at 7pm.

Tickets are £10 for adults, £8 for under 16s (plus booking fee).

Book your tickets now!