On Convoy

On Convoy image compilation of programme and ticketScript Excerpts & How To Get A Script

To get a script of On Convoy, please contact Paul using the form on the Plays page.

Description

On Convoy, Paul’s first stage play, was produced by Goderich Little Theatre in 1999. CBC Radio then commissioned him to write an adaptation, and the full-length radio drama of the same name was produced and broadcast nationally in 2002.

Synopsis

The year is 1942, perhaps the most dangerous year for convoy ships crossing the North Atlantic to supply the Allied War effort. A young man from rural Ontario joins the crew of the FISHPOOL, a merchant convoy ship departing form Halifax for Liverpool during WWII. Nathan is introduced to his first convoy duty by two of the ship’s older crew.

Tense and absorbing, the story revolves around the veteran mariner, the young recruit and the salty ships carpenter. The lives of these men, their hopes and fears, unfold as the ship and its crew are attacked by German submarines.

The Inspiration – John Webster

John Webster was born in 1918 in Chingford, England. At the age of 14, he went to sea aboard a Danish merchant vessel. He served in the Army and the Merchant Navy during WWII and received five medals.

After the war, John emigrated to Canada with his wife and settled in Exeter, Ontario. He was an active and dedicated member of the Exeter and Hensall Legions. John Webster passed away in 1998.

Production Notes

On Convoy has a cast of three (3 men). In the premiere, several other non-speaking sailors were incorporated. The play is set on a ship, so artful staging and effects are required.

Characters

  • Nathan
  • John More
  • Laurie “Chippy” Meahan

Place & Time

1942 in the North Atlantic aboard the merchant marine ship “FishPool”.

Playwright’s Notes

Paul Ciufo was inspired to write On Convoy after meeting John Webster, a veteran of the British Merchant Navy. Convinced the story of the Merchant Navy remains largely untold, Paul wanted to bring the story to life.

Premier Performance Details

On Convoy premiered at The Livery on March 19, 1999, with the following cast:

  • Nathan: Ryan Whalen
  • John More: John Knapp
  • Laurie “Chippy” Meahan: David Armor

Production Information

  • Directed by Duncan McGregor
  • Set design: Sherri Milburn and Ross Barnett
  • Sound design: Arlene Darnborough
  • Lighting design: Sherri Milburn and Ross Barnett