With Courage

by Jon Hare 5 Sep 2024 - 6 Sep 2024
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presented by PlayWell Productions

Written in celebration and commemoration of the 200th Anniversary of the RNLI

A new musical spanning two centuries of saving lives. Two witnesses to a maritime disaster set out to change the course of history, while a modern-day coxswain's daughter aims to earn her place on the lifeboat.

Writer Jon Hare has been inspired by lifeboats since early childhood holidays on a houseboat in Salcombe in the 70s. Stories of incredible rescues, triumphing against the odds, and, of course, sacrifice and loss against that most unpredictable and deadly ancient maritime foe - the sea. And behind those crews, for as long as lifeboats have launched, the incredible support of the communities who watch loved ones take to the waves to save the lives of friends and strangers alike.

There are too many stories to tell in one musical, but detailed research and conversations with the crews themselves have led to this folk-infused tribute to all who have served, and those who have stood and continue to stand with them today in this, their 200th year.

With Courage is for all of them and all who will continue to follow in their (yellow) boots.

About With Courage

Commissioned by PlayWell Productions and written to coincide with the 2024 bicentenary of the RNLI, this new commission draws on the stories, history and lives of the RNLI's coastal and inland communities as a celebration and commemoration of this world-renowned organisation.

​Development to date supported by Arts Council England, Lighthouse Poole, New Theatre Royal Portsmouth, Mercury Musical Developments, Mercury Theatre, China Plate, Reading Fringe Festival and Spun Glass Arts. 

Jon Hare - writer / composer

Jon's other shows include The First Chris Moose, a family musical for which he recorded a demo album in 2021 at Queen's Theatre, Hornchurch, and Charming, an '80s jukebox show set in a bankrupt kingdom 25 years after the failed marriage of Prince Charming and Cinderella. A freelance Production and Stage Manager for over fifteen years, working at National Theatre, Young Vic, Roundhouse, Windsor Castle, and Assembly Festivals, Jon currently works for Guildhall School of Music & Drama as Outreach Manager for Production Arts.

Charlotte Westenra - director / dramaturg

Charlotte is an award-winning stage director and dramaturg specialising in political theatre and new writing, with an emphasis on the development of British musicals. Credits include: Agreement (Lyric Theatre Belfast); The Wicker Husband (Watermill Theatre); Indecent Proposal (Southwark Playhouse); I Love  You, You’re Perfect, Now Change (The Chiswick Playhouse). She is currently developing two new ballets.

Mary Erskine - musical director

Mary is a classically trained pianist and cellist and acclaimed singer/songwriter, under the name Me For Queen. As Me For Queen she has toured the UK & Europe and has had her songs played on BBC 6Music, Radio 3, Amazing Radio, BBC Scotland & BBC Wales. Follow Mary @MeforQueen and visit  www.meforqueen.com

Steph Weller - producer & founder, PlayWell Productions

Steph is a freelance creative producer. Her company PlayWell Productions works in partnership with venues, funders and co-producers to find the right platforms for unique voices and stories. Commissions and credits include the plays Live To Tell: (a Proposal for) The Madonna Musical, Very Special Guest Star, Clown Sex, and I Ain’t Dumb, and musicals Black Power Desk, Lesbian Pirates! and With Courage. Read more at www.playwellproductions.co.uk