October Ferries to Gabriola by Charlotte Cameron
October Ferries to Gabriola is inspired by the life of the notorious British novelist, Malcolm Lowry, author of the 20th century masterpiece, Under the Volcano. Playwright Charlotte Cameron mixes fact and fiction, moving back and forth in time from 1946 to the present day, juxtaposing the lives of Lowry and his second wife, Margerie, with the plight of a contemporary couple. Both couples come to Gabriola Island, British Columbia, seeking refuge, a place to live, write and love, a place of redemption and hope, creativity and rebirth. Both couples are dealing with similar troubles: alcoholism, tragedy and homelessness, hopelessness, guilt and angst. In this powerful drama, Cameron raises a host of existential questions and explores our endless quest for a paradise on earth.
"Playwright Charlotte Cameron has taken Malcolm Lowry’s unfinished novel, October Ferry to Gabriola, a barely fictional account of his and his second wife’s visit to the island, as a theme for his pursuit of an ideal place both for creativity and redemption. She cleverly overlaps Lowry’s story with that of a similar, but contemporary couple—both alcoholic husbands with a guilt in their past and desperately supportive wives. Cameron’s alternative tellings of the two couples’ search comes to a final climax as their four voices almost over-layer. Her brilliant dialogue, as in all good dramas, raises questions; questions about possible redemption and this never-ending quest of ours for Paradise on Earth."
—Naomi Beth Wakan, Inaugural Poet Laureate of Nanaimo and author of On the Arts
"While mixing fact and fiction, Charlotte Cameron concurrently spins the wheel of time backward to 1946 and forward to the present day. In this way, she deftly highlights Malcolm and Margerie Lowry’s dream of finding sanctuary and renewal on Gabriola Island while simultaneously illuminating the plight of a similar contemporary couple. Themes such as alcoholism, angst, eviction and homelessness, guilt, hope, and love reverberate throughout this provocative drama."
—Sheryl Salloum, author of Malcolm Lowry: Vancouver Days