BY W.H. AUDEN AND CHRISTOPHER ISHERWOOD
The Empire is at its height, but British citizens are bored and listless.On the border between a British colony and a colony of rival nation Ostnia rises F6 – the world’s highest unclimbed mountain. Its unconquered summit is intimidating to the most ambitious mountaineers. Local legend says a powerful demon makes his home on its icy peak. Between legend and fact, any climber who attempts F6 must also face his inner demons.Michael Ransom is Britain’s best climber. His brother, a cabinet minister, wants to boost the nation’s morale by sending him to plant the Union Jack on F6. Word comes that Ostnian climbers are preparing a similar expedition; the British must get there first. Against his better judgment, Ransom finally agrees to go and the race is on.
Alternating poetry and prose, W.H. Auden and Christopher Isherwood’s daringly modernist play explores the disparate meanings of patriotism to an individual and to a nation, and how patriotic fervor too easily discounts the peril and great costs to each.