The Cunard Steam Ship Company Limited

The Play

In 1942, RMS Laconia was sunk by a German torpedo in the South Atlantic. Among its passengers were two young lovers, escaping the ‘flap’ (and her husband) in Egypt in search of some kind of peace together. But cast adrift on a lifeboat, which eventually spent 27 days at sea, both perished. She was pregnant with his child.

Combining testimonies of those who survived the treacherous journey with the stories contained in the letters home of Flight Lieutenant Peter Medhurst, this astonishing true story is a deeply moving piece of ensemble theatre.

Now Is The Hour is available to be licensed by student, amateur and professional companies as both a one act and two act play. The one act version, first performed in 2008, tells the story of Lifeboat 9’s journey to shore. It features six speaking parts (four male and two female) and six non-speaking parts (all male). It has a running time of around one hour.

The two act version, first performed in 2013, begins on board the Laconia itself and joins the story of the lifeboat in the second half. It features twelve speaking parts (ten male and two female) and has a running time of around two hours, plus an interval.