Tales of Limerick man’s self sacrifice in The Unlucky Cabin Boy

lime tree theatre‘THE Unlucky Cabin Boy’, which plays in the Lime Tree Theatre from November 5 to 8 at 8pm nightly, tells the poignant true story of Limerick man Patrick O’Brien’s self-sacrifice following an 1835 shipwreck. Another Limerick man, Paul Meade of Gúna Nua, directs

Writer Mike Finn tells audience members to expect a “moving” historical story, one which also provides its comic moments to give it that ideal blend of light and shade.

Mike, who has abundant enthusiasm for exploring Limerick’s history through stage, said: “I’m mad into the history of Limerick and this story fits into that perfectly. I love delving into history and you’ll find some terrific stories, particularly here in Limerick with the history that this place has. A lot of people wouldn’t be familiar with the story of Patrick O’Brien so it’s nice to be able to tell people about this historical tale.”

‘The Unlucky Cabin Boy’ tells of young Thomondgate man Patrick O’Brien in 1835. Three days after the Francis Spaight sailing ship departed Canada, it encountered a terrible storm and several crew members were drowned.

Left for two weeks without food and water, the captain resolved that one crew member should die in order to prolong the lives of the others. Four cabin boys drew lots and fate decreed that Patrick would sacrifice himself to be eaten by the crew. Upon the rescue of the surviving crew and their return to Limerick, the captain and crew were tried for murder and acquitted.

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This chilling tale of hardship, sacrifice and survival is brought to life by the compositions of The Brad Pitt Light Orchestra, described by Mike as “a fabulous group”.

He added: “The Brad Pitt Light Orchestra actually got in touch with me about doing a production and I was delighted to team up with them as they really bring the play to life. It’s a very moving story and while there are comic bits as well with other sailors slagging Patrick O’Brien, ultimately it’s a sad tale.”

Book with Lime Tree Theatre on http://www.limetreetheatre.ie/