Among the tribes of Papua New Guinea, herpetologist Mark O’Shea has earned himself a nickname: Gaigai Tauna, the ‘man with power over snakes’.
Born in Wolverhampton in 1956, Mark has participated in more than 60 expeditions to 36 countries on six continents, all in search of rare and exotic creatures for study. He is best known for fronting the Animal Planet series ‘O’Shea’s Big Adventure’ (‘O’Shea’s Dangerous Reptiles’ on Channel 4) and has been decorated with the Millennium Award for Exploration in Zoology by the Explorers’ Club of New York.
In this one-person show, Jenet Le Lacheur brings Mark’s remarkable life to the stage through the medium of verbatim theatre. Discover how it feels to stare into the eyes of a king cobra, take a bite from a timber rattlesnake, and search for alligators in chest-high waters, with nothing but your feet to guide you…
Gaigai Tauna: The Snake Man opened on the 25 May 2015, and toured Alderney, Guernsey, and the UK. This is the final performance, recorded in March 2016 (way back in the mists of time before Natrix helvetica was granted species status).
Written and performed by Jenet Le Lacheur. Recorded by Shaun Waldie.
With thanks to Mark O’Shea, Alecky Blythe, Colin Watkeys and Claire Dowie.