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Lifeboat tells an extraordinary true story of courage and enduring friendship

by on April 1, 2015


Coming to the Fredericton Playhouse on Sunday, April 19 at 7:30 p.m., the award-winning play Lifeboat is a story of courage, survival and enduring friendship that will inspire audiences of all ages.

From United Kingdom-based Catherine Wheels Theatre Company, Lifeboat is the extraordinary true story of Bess Walder and Beth Cummings, two teenage girls who spent 19 terrifying hours in the waters of the freezing Atlantic Ocean on an upturned lifeboat.

On September 13, 1940, a ship named The City of Benares set sail from Liverpool for Canada. On board were 90 evacuees escaping the relentless bombing and dangers of war-torn Britain. Four days into the crossing, the ship was torpedoed and sank. Only 11 of the evacuees survived, including Bess and Beth.

Written by Nicola McCartney and directed by Gill Robertson, Lifeboat won the Barclays Stage Award for Best Show for Children and Young People in 2002. The play has been performed internationally, throughout the United Kingdom, North America, Australia and New Zealand.

Catherine Wheels Theatre Company was formed in 1999 by Gill Robertson. Since then, the company has established itself as a leading producer of theatre for children and young people.

Tickets for Lifeboat are available through the Fredericton Playhouse box office at 458-8344 or online at


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