World Premiere of Transport, With Edward Watts, Jessica Grové, Emily Skeggs and More, Opens Feb. 16 at Irish Rep

By Michael Gioia
16 Feb 2014

Patrick Cummings and Jessica Grové
Patrick Cummings and Jessica Grové
Photo by Carol Rosegg

The Irish Repertory Theatre presents the world premiere of the new musical Transport, featuring a book by Australian author Thomas Keneally ("Schindler's List") and music and lyrics by Larry Kirwan (founder of the New York City band Black 47); the production officially opens Feb. 16 on the Francis J. Greenburger Mainstage of the Irish Repertory Theatre.

Presented in association with Nina L. Keneally and James F. Lightstone for 1407 Productions, previews began Feb. 7 for a run through April 6.

Directed by Tony Award-winning director and designer Tony Walton, the cast includes Mark Coffin, Patrick Cummings (The York's Jack...), Terry Donnelly (Irish Rep's Juno and the Paycock), Sean Gormley (Irish Rep's The Weir), Jessica Grové (A Little Night Music, Sunday in the Park With George, Thoroughly Modern Millie), Pearl Rhein (Red Bull's Volpone), Emily Skeggs (The Public's Fun Home) and Edward Watts (Scandalous).

Here's how the work is billed: "Sprung from the pen of world-renowned author Thomas Keneally, Transport derives from the true story recalled by the grandmother of his wife, Judy, who journeyed in chains from Cork 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 both an authentic score -- with echoes of traditional Irish and Australian tunes -- and a contemporary resonance, Transport transcends time, place and character with a hauntingly moving immediacy intertwined with the indomitable Irish spirit and a shared and abiding humanity."



Director Walton also designed the set. Other members of the creative team include choreographer Barry McNabb, costume designer Linda Fisher, lighting designers Richard Pilbrow and Michael Gottlieb and production stage manager Christine Lemme.

The Irish Repertory Theatre is located at 132 West 22nd Street. For more information and tickets, call (212) 727-2737 or visit www.irishrep.org.  

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Jessica Grové and Edward Watts
Photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN