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1001 Lifeboat
Added on 09th September 2020

Writer Nicola McCartney
First performed 2002, Catherine Wheels Theatre Company, Scotland

A story of courage, enduring friendship and survival.

Story

Two young girls, refugees from a United Kingdom struggling under the strain of the Second World War, are being sent across the sea to Canada to keep them safe. But when a torpedo strike hits their ocean liner, they find themselves facing a new peril.

Why we chose it

An award winning play written for young people, a moving story of friendship, endurance and survival.

Where it came from

Lifeboat was written by Irish playwright Nicola McCartney. Although McCartney had been writing plays for ten years, this was the first she wrote for a younger audience. Besides this, the play posed other challenges, including portraying war accurately while remaining entertaining, and being respectful of the real people behind the story. The play is based on the experience of two real girls, one of whom McCartney and Robinson met and spoke to while creating the play. The structure of the play is roughly inspired by Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller.

Where it went next

Lifeboat toured not just Britain but across the world – becoming the first Scottish theatre production to perform at the Sydney Opera House.

McCartney considers Lifeboat her most successful piece for a younger audience, as well as something of a creative turning point. She has said that by writing it she learned how to write plays properly, to utilise a different type of clever writing, which, rather than being intellectual and concept-driven, recognises the value of entertainment and the visual image.

Associated stories

Nicola McCartney has written many other plays for both adults and children.

Added on 09th September 2020

Writer Nicola McCartney
First performed 2002, Catherine Wheels Theatre Company, Scotland