Tag Archives | The Unlucky Cabin Boy

The Unlucky Cabin Boy on way to Kilkenny

The Unlucky Cabin Boy is a new musical devised by Gúna Nua Theatre Company in conjunction with playwright Mike Finn and The Brad Pitt Light Orchestra and it arrives here at the Watergate on 17 November for a 2 night run.

Stephen O'Leary as Patrick O'Brien in The Unlucky Cabin Boy by MIke Finn Music by David Blake Directed by Paul Meade Photo by Tom Lawlor

Stephen O’Leary as Patrick O’Brien in The Unlucky Cabin Boy by MIke Finn Music by David Blake Directed by Paul Meade Photo by Tom Lawlor

Based on a true story, The Unlucky Cabin Boy tells of the young Patrick O’Brien of Limerick in 1835. In a desperate attempt to escape his life of poverty, he signed himself aboard the Francis Spaight ship as a cabin boy on the ship’s voyage to the New World. On the ship’s return from St. John, New Brunswick, the Francis Spaight encountered a terrible storm and capsized. With several crew members drowned, the remaining sailors were able to right the ship by cutting the mast leaving them utterly stranded in the vast ocean; their provisions, water, and possessions having been lost overboard.

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After two weeks of struggling to survive in severely grim conditions, the crew’s despair drove them to desperate measures and Capitan Gorman resolved that one crew member should die in order to prolong the lives of the others. Our hero, Patrick O’Brien drew lots, called himself on the death lot, and was killed and eaten by the crew. Two other crew members were respectively killed and eaten before the remaining sailors were rescued by passing ship. Continue Reading →

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