By Ann Pletschke – Aug 2022
“The play did not shy away from many compelling issues known to affect the seafaring industry yet portrayed them with accuracy and sensitivity”
Once reviews started to come out about a play up in Liverpool based on a female British seafarer, Corrina, and her experiences onboard, I was intrigued and curious to go watch. I’m a person who has not even watched Captain Phillips, Deepwater Horizon or other movies based on our industry, but the plot sparked my curiosity to the point where I found myself on a train heading up to Liverpool to watch the final show.
The set itself was a multi-layer cut-out of a ship, with a forward mooring deck which was cleverly changed into being a crew mess room, Captain’s office or Corrina’s cabin. Above this was the Bridge with two Bridge chairs looking out forward which really contributed to the audience feeling like they were watching a different part of the ship.
“The play also highlighted the isolation seafarers can face”
The research with various seafarer groups that had gone into the play made for a very realistic plot and was coupled with excellent acting by the cast. Some excellent lighting and audio effects added to the suspense and there were heart-wrenching times watching what the main character, Corrina, was going through onboard. There were certainly times where I just wished I could have run onto the set and told her she could reach out to Safer Waves! The play also highlighted the isolation seafarers can face, including seafarers trying to find mobile reception to contact home in their distress and the isolation of not having access to support services comparable with onshore, safety onboard and the implications of power dynamics and hierarchy.
Sexual violence, bullying, exploitation, harassment – the play did not shy away from many compelling issues known to affect the seafaring industry yet portrayed them with accuracy and sensitivity – yet not at the expense of maintaining the production as a thriller. It was encouraging to see such topics have some light shine on them, in both a metaphoric and literal sense, as a mainstream production and society embrace issues rather than viewing them as a taboo or stigmatised.
The play script is available as a book although it is hoped the play can be shown again in other theatres.