On Friday 13 September 1940, a ship, The City of Benares, set sail from Liverpool for Canada. On board were 90 evacuees escaping the bombing and dangers of war torn Britain. Four days into the crossing, the ship was torpedoed in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean and sank. Only eleven of the evacuees survived.
Two fifteen year old school girls, Bess Walder and Beth Cummings, spent 19 terrifying hours in the water on an upturned lifeboat. They willed each other to survive.
LIFEBOAT tells their extraordinary true story, a story of courage, of resilience and of enduring friendship. “We were not in the business of giving up.”
Produced by the same team behind the Offie nominated and five star productions of Kes and The Wolves of Willoughby Chase.
LIFEBOAT was first produced as an original stage production by Catherine Wheels Theatre Company and directed by Gill Robertson.
Press for previous productions
It’s a beautiful piece of theatre. Subtle, engaging and deeply touching…This is the Jack team doing what they do best and once again producing a diamond. The cast are equally brilliant… This is a real treat. Heartfelt and elegant, it is yet further proof that the Brockley Jack is one of the best theatres in London. ★★★★★ Spy in the Stalls
in director Kate Bannister’s expert hands, this play is a mini-masterpiece… simply brilliant performances. Get a ticket while you can. Kes is a lovingly crafted production that is hard-hitting, hopeful and will make your heart soar. ★★★★★ Fairy Powered Productions
Kate Bannister, for the Brockley Jack, has done a fantastic job with this production of Kes. Karl Swinyard’s set is ingenious. The lighting design and sound of Ben Jacobs and Jack Barton are spot on. It really is a wonderful evening… the acting is exemplary as is the direction. The Brockley Jack can be enormously proud of this production. ★★★★★ London Pub Theatres
This is as good as it gets in the theatre anywhere – a fringe triumph in every sense. ★★★★★ Reviewsgate