January 2018 UK tour featuring The Young’uns, Nancy Kerr, Paul Sartin, Faustus, Greg Russell, Rachael McShane, Matthew Crampton
A 40th anniversary revival of Peter Bellamy’s most revered work The Transports performed by some of the UK finest folk stars at the start of the year resoundingly lived up to its billing as one of the key folk music events of 2017.
Wall-to-wall acclaim from the critics was topped by a 5* review in The Guardian who described it as “A stunning fully staged folk suite of extraordinary richness and variety.”
Now there is a second chance to see the famed and emotive story of 18th century exile, with the original cast reprising their roles.
The Young’uns, BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards Best Group (2016 and 2015) will join forces with fellow Folk Awards winners Nancy Kerr (Folk Singer of the Year 2015) and Greg Russell (Young Folk Award and Horizon Award).
They will be joined by ex Bellowhead cellist Rachael McShane and celebrated trio Faustus (Paul Sartin, Benji Kirkpatrick and Saul Rose).
Sartin, another former member of the esteemed and much-missed Bellowhead, is also Musical Director of the project while author, storyteller and folk singer Matthew Crampton is once again the narrator and Tim Dalling (The New Rope String Band) is Creative Director.
The collective will take to the road in January 2018 in a 14-date tour of the ground-breaking ballad opera opening at Cheltenham Town Hall on January 10 and aptly bringing the curtain down in Norwich on January 24 – the city from which the story originates.
Supported by Arts Council England, the show fuses together moving, inspirational music and spellbinding storytelling within a vital historical and contemporary tapestry. Rarely can Bellamy’s famed folk opera – a tale of 18th century exile – have been more pertinent, set against the current tide of forced migration.
Bellamy, a unique singer, musician and composer, tragically took his own life in 1991 at the age of just 47, but left a treasure trove of work of which The Transports is seen as his greatest triumph.
Complementing the tour once again will be the accompanying Parallel Lives project which aims to link the show to refugee support groups in the tour towns.
The Transports was written after Bellamy read a story in his local Norfolk newspaper about the first transport ship to Australia. It is based on the remarkable true tale of convicts Henry Cabell and Susannah Holmes. Imprisoned for theft at Norwich Gaol prior to being transported the pair fall in love and have a son but are refused permission to marry. As Susannah awaits transportation to Australia at the quayside her son is refused passage but a guard, taking pity on her, travels with the infant to London to appeal to Lord Sydney, Home Secretary. Sydney orders that Cabell and Holmes be reunited, allowed to marry and transported together with their son as a family.
THE TRANSPORTS TOUR DATES –
10 CHELTENHAM Town Hall 0844 576 2210
11 LONDON Union Chapel 0871 220 0260
12 YEOVIL Octagon 01935 422884
13 MANCHESTER Dancehouse 0844 888 9991
14 PRESTON Guild Hall 01772 804444
16 BURY ST EDMUNDS Apex 01284 758000
17 BROMSGROVE Artrix 01527 577330
18 GUILDFORD G Live 01483 369350
19 SOUTHAMPTON Turner Sims Concert Hall 02380 595151
20 CHESTERFIELD Winding Wheel 01773 853428
21 LEEDS City Varieties 0113 243 0808
22 DURHAM Gala Theatre 0300 026 6600
23 BERWICK Maltings 01289 330999
24 NORWICH Maddermarket Theatre 01602 620917