A Play, A Pie And A Pint: Scurvy Ridden Whale Men
The Lemon Tree
5 West North Street
Scurvy Ridden Whale Men By Steven Dick Neptune and Peter were crew members on the Viewforth from Kirkcaldy, a whaling ship that became icebound in Baffin Bay, off the coast of Greenland. They were trapped for five months with nothing but ice as far as the eye could see, the men froze, starved and became delirious. Frostbite turned to gangrene and scurvy rotted malnourished limbs. The Viewforth had only seven men alive when the weather broke and she managed to get free of the ice. Taken to Orkney, Neptune and Peter spent two months recovering in a temporary hospital set up in Mrs Humphrey’s house. Mrs Humphrey’s nursed them back to health. The play begins on their final day in the house/hospital. They’ll be sailing back to Kirkcaldy at dawn. It’s a black comedy about three lonely, damaged people… Mrs Humphrey, who lost her husband and son to the sea. She believes that Neptune and Peter may be answer to her years of isolation. Neptune who has crippling guilt over the men who died on the boat he was navigating. He blames the forty deaths on himself. Can he ever set sail again? Peter, who deflects his trauma with newly found religion to the extent he’s no longer thinking rationally. His hero worship of Neptune, his evangelical love of the scripture and his enthusiasm to return to the whaling are all problems for the other two.