The Transports tells the incredible tale of a family destroyed by poverty and crime, but resurrected by exile to the new colony of Australia. With fresh script and musical arrangement, this famous show re-emerges within a modern context of mass migration.

The stellar line-up for this exciting new production includes The Young’uns, Faustus, Nancy Kerr, Rachael McShane, Greg Russell and Matthew Crampton.

In 1977 Peter Bellamy released The Transports on record with The Watersons, Martin Carthy, Nic Jones, AL Lloyd, June Tabor, Cyril Tawney, Dave Swarbrick and others. Several times since, further generations of folk musicians have gathered to re-create the piece.

This new production features musical arrangements by Paul Sartin of Bellowhead and Faustus. Two-time BBC Folk Award winners The Young’uns bring their trademark live dynamism. Further musical excellence comes from Nancy Kerr, Bellowhead’s Rachael McShane, Faustus’ Benji Kirkpatrick and Saul Rose, and Greg Russell.

Storyteller Matthew Crampton has created fresh narration for the show, amplifying its central tale into a broader exploration of exile and migration.

Mass migration is a defining dilemma of today. There’s seldom been a more vital moment to bring back The Transports – not just a great music experience, but a sharp reminder of folk music’s power in portraying the way the world actually works.

Find out more about Peter Bellamy’s original show and subsequent productions at http://thetransports.com/

The Cast



  • Henry Cabell: SEAN COONEY (The Young’uns)
  • Susannah Holmes: RACHAEL MCSHANE (Bellowhead)
  • The Father: PAUL SARTIN (Faustus/Belshazzars Feast/Bellowhead)
  • The Mother: NANCY KERR
  • The Narrator: MATTHEW CRAMPTON
  • The Turnkey: GREG RUSSELL
  • Abe Carman: DAVID EAGLE (The Young’uns)
  • The Shantyman: SAUL ROSE (Faustus/Waterson:Carthy/Whapweasel)
  • The Jailer: BENJI KIRKPATRICK (Faustus/Bellowhead)
  • The Coachman: MICHAEL HUGHES (The Young’uns)
Peter Bellamy


Acclaimed solo singer and member of the Young Tradition, Peter Bellamy carried the banner of traditional singing very high indeed. Himself a traditionalist and perfectionist, he was ultimately dissatisfied with his ability to popularise of the people music. To put it bluntly he had wanted the Young Tradition to be as popular as The Rolling Stones. He made about 15 solo albums, and produced others (of which The Transports is the best known). To call his music simply folk doesn’t do it justice. It was ballads, shanties, cowboy songs, hymns, blues and hollers and the occasional contemporary piece.

“I feel that the only person successfully to accompany Peter Bellamy was Peter Bellamy. To do so, he hacked out a totally unique style on concertina and occasional guitar, that was a triumph. Singing, however, remained his ruling passion, and his belief in the importance of improvisation led him, when in full flow, to flights that were truly awesome in their scope, daring and execution.”

Martin Carthy