Transport OFF-BROADWAY REVIEWS

  • NY TIMES

  • TIME OUT

  • EW

  • NY POST

  • THEATRE IS EASY

Opening Night:
February 7, 2014
Closing:
April 6, 2014

Theater: Irish Repertory Theatre / 132 West 22nd Street, New York, NY, 10011

Synopsis: 

Sprung from the pen of world-renowned author Thomas Keneally (Schindler's List,) Transport derives from the true story recalled by the grandmother of his wife, Judy, who journeyed in chains from Cork, Ireland to Sydney, Australia in 1846. Transport tells the story of the impoverished Irish women and young girls (the so- called “undesirables”) who were deported on The Whisper, a prison ship, to the Australian penal colonies. Transport's characters include members of the ship’s crew, an exiled Irish priest, and four of the unfortunate female prisoners. With an authentic score by Black 47's Larry Kirwan that features traditional Irish music mixed with a contemporary Folk-Rock & Broadway resonance, Transport transcends time, place and character with a hauntingly moving immediacy intertwined with the indomitable Irish spirit and a shared and abiding humanity.

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  • NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW OF Transport

    Prison Ship Sets Sail With a Rebel on Board

    Laura Collins-Hughes

    February 19, 2014: Bound for Australia, the prison ship is packed with Irishwomen brought aboard in chains. The year is 1838, and a rebel among the convicts is plotting insurrection. A small, fierce creature with streaming red hair, Kate O’Hara dreams of seizing the vessel and sailing for the freedom of New York. “And did God give me my raging heart,” she asks, “that I should swallow it and let it be turned to a stone behind my ribs?” Politics, history and exile are much on the mind of the new musical Transport, an intriguing but disappointing collaboration between Thomas Keneally, the Australian novelist who wrote Schindler’s List, and Larry Kirwan, best known as the leader of the New York Celtic rock band Black 47.

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  • TIME OUT NEW YORK REVIEW OF Transport

    Transport: Theater review by Diane Snyder

    Diane Snyder

    February 18, 2014: Three heavy hitters are behind the new musical Transport, yet the results are weak. Set during a devastating period in 19th-century Irish history, when thousands of female prisoners were shipped to Australia to serve their sentences and correct a gender imbalance in the penal colonies, the piece is inspired by book writer Thomas Keally's wife's great-grandmother, who was one of those unlucky women.

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  • ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY REVIEW OF Transport

    Transport

    Jason Clark

    February 19, 2014: You would think a production that melded the considerable talents of Thomas Keneally, the author of Schindler's List, Larry Kirwan, the cofounder of the terrific Irish rock group Black 47, and legendary production designer-turned-director Tony Walton (who is a Grammy shy of an EGOT) would be more than a load of blarney. Alas, the musical Transport, running through April 6 at Off Broadway's Irish Repertory Theatre, is a deeply underimagined bid to be the Les Miz of the Potato Famine years. Why, it even begins with a young woman singing about her unfair arrest for stealing butter for bread (Jeannie Valjean, perhaps?), as a small turntable swirls behind her. But in this case, to paraphrase Forbidden Broadway, at the end of the play you'll feel another year older.

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  • NEW YORK POST REVIEW OF Transport

    ‘Transport’ fails to pick up steam

    Elisabeth Vincentelli

    February 17, 2014: The title and author — Thomas Keneally, who wrote Schindler’s List — suggest a show about the trains that raced to German concentration camps. But the new off-Broadway musical Transport actually concerns the 19th-century conscripts shipped off from Ireland to Australia. Keneally was inspired by the story of his wife’s great-grandmother, who was sent from Cork to Sydney for shoplifting. Bridging continents like his subject, the Aussie writer teamed up with Larry Kirwan, frontman of New York’s long-running Irish rock band Black 47.

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  • THEATRE IS EASY REVIEW OF Transport

    Transport

    Shani R. Friedman

    February 17, 2014: In early 19th century Ireland, it is an unspeakably terrible time to be poor and a woman, deprived of civil rights and easy victims of the harsh British Empire. Thousands of women, accused of crimes (some true, some fabricated, many minor infractions) are being sent to the largely uninhabited continent of Australia to provide sex to the prisoners while simultaneously reducing the numbers in Ireland amid the devastating impact of the famine. In writing the book for this new engaging musical, Thomas Keneally, who authored Schindler's List, drew on his own connection to Ireland’s tragic past.

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