Beautiful and emotive, Psycho Vertical explores the intricate mind of Andy Kirkpatrick, a world-class climber and alpinist who lives a life of conflicting desires, identities and responsibilities, inspired by his best-selling autobiography of the same name. Firmly grounded by his impoverished upbringing in 1970s Hull, from a young age Andy’s head has been in the clouds, filled with grand ideas of discovering who he is and what exactly he’s made of, spurred on by his father’s absence and translated into ascents of some of the world’s most dangerous alpine routes. Though he knows the pain of living in poverty, pursuing his dreams comes before making a living. While compelled to share his chaotic personal life and make audiences crumple with laughter on stage, he chooses to test himself on some of the world’s longest and most difficult climbs totally alone. By exploring his past, his present and his motivation for pushing his limits to the absolute extreme, we follow Andy on an 18-day, solo ascent of El Capitan, where life on the mountain wall is precarious, tough and lonely, creating a raw and intimate portrait of one of climbing’s most controversial, unpredictable and adored figures, and exploring themes of identity, fatherhood, and how our pasts shape us, drive us forward and stay with us all our lives.
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