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The Primitive Methodist Guide to Arctic Survival was my 2009 Edinburgh Fringe show.

It’s about early polar exploration, inspired by my own great great great great grandfather, a Hull whaler whose ship was trapped in an Arctic ice floe over the winter of 1866.


“Helen Keen shows a cunning ability to spin engrossing comedy out of arcane and unlikely subjects. This tale – and the broader subject of old-school adventure – provides Keen with the perfect jumping-off point for exuberant theorising and interactive silliness, frequently including her characteristically bizarre handmade puppets and props… This sophisticated rising star is one to watch.” (The Guardian)

Featuring stirring true stories of the Frozen North (The Arctic) and the Slightly Less Frozen North (Hull) along with useful survival tips for any 19th century polar expeditions you might join…

The show subsequently toured the UK, beginning with a sell-out show at the Otley Courthouse (funded by The UKRC) along with performances at Science Festivals including York, Cambridge, Manchester and most recently in the wonderful D'Arcy Thompson Zoology Museum, Dundee.


* * * * "constant and unwavering wit"
(Fest)

* * * * "enthusiasm and energy"
(One4Review)

* * * * "entertaining and eclectic"
(ThreeWeeks)

* * * * "a show that’s had a lot of love put in"
(Scotsgay)

The Guardian Guide Pick of the Programme 2009 "Fiercely intelligent comedy"

The Scotsman - Top 100 Shows to see on The Fringe 2009
"I found myself consistently rapt. QI fans should find plenty to engage them here”

Nominated for Buxton Festival Fringe Award for Best New Writing 2009