The events of 9/11 cause many American flights to be diverted to Canada. The sleepy town of Gander in Newfoundland finds itself accommodating over 6,000 stranded passengers, including Sarah and her teenage daughter Polly. A selfless and put-upon divorcee, Sarah is seduced by the local people's hospitality. Finally, she learns to let her hair down. She has her first kiss in years, catches a fish, meets Crazy Pete, dabbles in a bit of karaoke and finally gets the few hours of sleep that have eluded her for so long.
From The Guardian
The Day the Planes Came, an immensely enjoyable Afternoon Play written by Caroline and David Stafford, is surely the first rom-com set on 9/11. This perhaps inappropriate-sounding genre worked thanks to location: it was about people re-routed to Gander, Newfoundland, when US airspace was closed after the attacks.
The play looked at 9/11 from quite literally the other side - over the Canadian border, and a world away from the intense media scrutiny of New York. A squabbling mother (Sarah) and daughter befriend a business traveller (Chris) from their flight, and then a local man (Gary) in Gander who takes them into his home.
This set up allowed many beautifully observed details about their different lives, and I loved the middle-class Londoners discussing the four folded flannels each had found on their temporary bed. "Do you use a flannel?", Sally asked Chris, saying "flannel" as if for the first time in decades. "No," he replied, as if never having thought about the concept before, "not really, no." Rosie Cavaliero as Sarah and William Hope as Gary were terrific: their sadness, and tentative steps towards healing, were vividly drawn and tenderly played.