The Breathing Hole
Paperback, 336 pages ISBN: 9780369101105Publication Date:
22 Apr 2021
Size: 229mm x 152mm£19.99
First Staged:
Stratford Festival, Ontario, 2017

The Breathing Hole

By Colleen Murphy With Siobhan Arnatsiaq-Murphy Translated by Janet Tamalik McGrath

Paperback £19.99

Stories of the Canadian Arctic intersect in this epic five-hundred-year journey led by a one-eared polar bear.

In 1535, Hummiktuq, an Inuk widow, has a strange dream about the future. The next day, she discovers a bear cub floating on ice near a breathing hole. Despite the concerns of her community, she adopts him and names him Angu’ruaq.

In 1845, Angu’ruaq and his mate Ukuannuaq wander into a chance meeting between explorers from the Franklin Expedition and Inuit hunters. Later, when the explorers are starving, the bears meet them again.

By 2035, entrepreneurs are assessing degrees of melting ice for future opportunities. Angu’ruaq encounters the passengers and crew of a luxury cruise ship as it slinks through the oily waters of the Northwest Passage.

Humorous and dramatic, Colleen Murphy's play The Breathing Hole is a profound saga that traces the paths of colonialism and climate change to a deeply moving conclusion. It was premiered at the Stratford Festival, Ontario, in 2017.

Press Quotes

'A work of epic proportions'

Capital Critics Circle

'An incredible piece of theatre that is both ground-breaking and deeply moving'

Broadway World

'The play and production gently invite audiences to consider relations between native people, settlers and the natural world through perspectives that are novel - perhaps even a little revolutionary'

Toronto Star

'What War Horse did for horses, this does for bears… The bear is, in all his charm and majesty and significance, a triumph for the author's ambition and imagination'

National Post
Paperback, 336 pages ISBN: 9780369101105Publication Date:
22 Apr 2021
Size: 229mm x 152mm£19.99
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