The Transports to be staged at Chesterfield

Peter Bellamy’s most revered work The Transports performed by some of the UK finest folk stars, including Nancy Kerr and The Young’uns, will be coming to Chesterfield on January 20.

Supported by Arts Council England, the show fuses together moving, inspirational music and spellbinding storytelling within a vital historical and contemporary tapestry.

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.

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.

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.

For the show 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.