My how time flies, in 2001 I was cast as Doctor Paul Knapman who was the Coroner for the original inquiry into the Marchioness river boat disaster, a character who seemed particularly dislikeable and was responsible for the removal of the hands of victims for fingerprinting in an attempt to identify the bodies which later proved to be unnecessary.
Some 20 years later the Director, Lance Steen Anthony Nielsen has produced a book which contains the cast details and a copy of the full play which tells the story of The Marchioness Inquiry, 11 Years Down the River.
On August 20th 1989, a collision on London’s River Thames between the dredging vessel Bowbelle and the pleasure boat, Marchioness, resulted in the loss of 51 lives. It would take eleven years of tireless campaigning before the families were finally given a public inquiry into the disaster. The hearings revealed a culture of individual, corporate and institutional failures to address ongoing safety issues, which could have prevented the disaster.
Based on the revelatory transcripts of the formal investigation into the disaster, this is the text of the dramatic reconstruction of that public inquiry and is available now.