An engrossing one-man play telling the story of an extraordinary Cumbrian character.

Pmac Productions presents

The Professor of Adventure

Written and performed by Peter Macqueen

“This captivating play - wistful, whimsical and quietly wonderful.” British Theatre Guide


It’s the winter of 1940/41 and Millican Dalton (the first professional mountain guide, philosopher and self-proclaimed inventor of shorts), is in ‘the safest spot to escape the kind attentions of Mr Hitler’ – his cave in the Borrowdale valley in Cumberland. But the Keswick ARP warden has just visited and ordered him to “Put that candle out!”

The Borrowdale Hermit is far from happy about this infringement on his personal liberty and fires off a letter of complaint to Winston Churchill…

Millican Dalton was born and schooled in Cumberland, moved to London after his father’s death, worked in the city for 20 years, then gave it up and spent the next 43 years in search of Romance and Freedom.

Eccentric, colourful, idiosyncratic – but this was no cranky old loner, outcast from human society. This was a well-educated man of physical prowess and considerable practical skills; sociable, well respected as a mountaineer and guide and regarded as an amiable, smiling figure wherever he parked his bike…if somewhat pungent!

Millican said: “You can’t feel lonely with nature as your companion… I find the simplest life is the happiest…Freedom is everything.”

But what if that freedom is challenged, that life complicated, that happiness threatened?

“A fantastic performance….one to watch out for…” BBC Radio Cumbria


Peter Macqueen writes:

“There are many pubs in Keswick and most of them sport black and white photographs of redoubtable Edwardian gents in tweed suits and hob-nail boots climbing the fells. But there was one photo that always stuck in my mind. Of course I was drawn to the obvious eccentricity of the character – sitting on a home-made raft of branches, twigs and oil drums, dressed in rolled-up shorts and a hat with a feather in it, a cigarette protruding from his bearded face; but it was his demeanour however that really captivated me. He seemed unaware of the photographic attention, his focus ahead, calm and content, floating peacefully under the trees. The ramshackle nature of his craft pointed to a journey that might not last long, but the relaxed and comfortable air of the ‘Skipper’, at one with his surroundings and in control, suggested otherwise. Who was this man? What was his story?

He had a dogged determination to follow his own path, free from the conformity of society’s expectations – I liked that. A path in search of happiness through contact with nature – I liked that. A life to be lived in the great outdoors – I liked that . Not just for a week or a month- but for over forty years! That I found extraordinary. That takes some commitment. Living on your own, out in the elements for nearly half a century? Surely that must take its toll. How do you function physically, mentally, emotionally? How do you remain sane?”


Full Price: £12.00
Concessions (u18/students): £8


Box office 01900 826448 or book online below.