Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Female Transport (Nov 2013)


Torrington Player’s forthcoming production will be “Female Transport” by Steve Gooch.

In brief the play can be summed up as a life and death struggle of 6 women convicted of petty crimes in the 19th century. For their crimes they are sentenced to transportation to a Penal Colony in Australia. Aboard a converted warship the prisoners and crew must endure a grueling six month journey. Housed in cramped cellblocks below deck the women gradually learn truths about society and themselves. They have to endure worm-ridden food, putrid water and rats. The cruel sergeant is their caretaker, helped by a 16-year-old first mate Tommy.

The women are ferociously independent of the men and each other, but slowly we see a solidarity rise among them. When the hatch door of the ship opens upon landing in Sydney at the end of their trip, and harsh sunlight comes streaming in, these convicts are very different women.

This will be an interesting challenge for the Players and a departure from their usual offering. It is hard hitting play with adult themes and – be warned- strong language, so will not be suitable for everyone. It will be a fascinating in-depth look at a time in history which now seems barbaric and unjust, and its director, Sara Pruce, is intent on keeping historical detail accurate with plenty of research!

The production welcomes on board local emerging talent in Set Designer and Technician Matt Cann, who is currently studying at Plymouth University and is including this project as part of his dissertation. His keenness for the production has resulted in him coming up with countless drawings and ideas prior to rehearsals even beginning! He will also be designing and operating the lighting and sound – so he will be a busy man! Matt says:“Female transport is a challenging play, which encompasses many sensitive themes and issues. One of the main practical demands is that the set is a two level ship, so it is a challenging project but a very exciting one!”

There will be many familiar faces from the players in the cast as well as some new ones. The six female characters are all great parts which gives the ladies in the players a great opportunity to flex their collective talents. The men’s roles are also very strong.

For those who prefer The Player’s more traditional family show, they plan to offer 2 such shows in their repertoire next year – including “O What a Lovely War!” in November, which will appeal to audiences both young and old.


Cast List

  • NANCE Christine Keeley
  • WINNIE Christine Spry
  • MADGE Jean Evans-Loude
  • CHARLOTTE Sara Pruce*
  • PITTY Beth Williams
  • SARAH Courtney Spry
  • SARGE Neil Fordham
  • CAPTAIN Colin Mackey
  • SURGEON James Jarvie
  • TOMMY Ryan Sears-Avery


* was Carolyn Hinton who very recently had to drop out due to unforeseen circumstances.

Wednesday, 20 November 2013