‘They had no skipper. No navigation system. They were travelling on a prayer and a mobile phone.’
Boat People is a one-act play by Emma Park. Inspired by a true story, ‘Boat People’ explores the ethical dilemmas involved in Europe’s current migration crisis.
In the High Court of Justice, Captain Papangelos – Greek master of a cargo ship – is called as a witness over his decision, without the permission of his shipowners, to change course from a routine voyage to rescue a boatload of migrants trying to make their way to Europe.
The trial develops into a battle of wits and clash of personalities between the Captain and Miss Featherstone, QC – the barrister cross-examining him – who seeks to show, by every means possible, that he should have left the ‘boat people’ where they were.
‘Do you think Europe is a firm continent, Miss Featherstone? Europe is a fractured rock. A sinking ship. A beat-up hull on her way to the scrapyard.’
Boat People is being performed at the Pentameters Theatre, Hampstead, London, on 16-18, 23-25 February – extended by popular demand to 2, 3 and 4 March (Fri-Sat 8pm; Sun 5pm).