The Other Crowhurst’s….

I am aware of two plays which are loosely based on Donald Crowhurst, several songs and a poem.

One play, Jet Lag, combines the story of Crowhurst with the story of a mother who has to repeatedly fly from the USA to Amsterdam with her son because of a custody battle with the child’s father. After 160 trips in the space of one year the mother dies of Jet Lag.

Another play, Daniel Pelican seems to be a bizarre retelling of Crowhurst’s story set in the 1920’s. I am not really sure why you would move the time period to there, but never mind.

The poem is of some interest; Donald Finkel’s Wake of the Electron, although amazon have this listed at £52 and I can’t find much more about it other than brief synopsis.

In other news, I had a productive session in uni today, it gave me several new thought tangents of places I may like to take this play- primarily tangents relating to the seeming split personality of Donald Crowhurst….On days like this I get really inspired and want to write the thing, unfortunately it is such a deep story I fear I may drown in it (for want of a better metaphor) if I just start writing it now without refining my thoughts on the story! Another tangent takes me off remembering Life of Pi, similarly a story of floating at sea but with a religious metaphor- though doesn’t Crowhurst’s story have religion? I seem to have been overlooking the fact that he begins the story as an Atheist and ends the story not just believing in God, but believing himself to be God- surely that is taking belief to a whole new level?  I must not forget his atheism!

Anyway, above are two images of Crowhurst. I quite like the contrast between the two, at sea he is playing the hero, he seems confident, putting on a show for the lens, whereas the other picture may be more grounded in reality


  1. I have considered the latter option- and would go for that over trying to come up with a fictional account.

    I guess how you handle the real people is important, you probably should try and remember that they are real and not treat them as if they are fictional (although look what happened to Pirandello!)

    I’m hoping that my characterization of Crowhurst will be balanced. After the events I think that his name was probably mud- I think there could be a tendency towards writing the extremes of his personality and making him some kind of stereotype.

    The life and times of a sexologist sounds like it might make an interesting story- I’m intrigued anyway


  2. Great to hear about your play writing…

    I have a script idea the life and times of ****** a sexologist from Birmingham. But there must be lots of pitfalls of writing about real people. What are top three things to do/not do? I write a fictional account – and hope no one sees the link? Or asking him/family if they’re interested in being involved…


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