Tuesday 6 December 2016

Review: The Train - Get on board The Train for a first-class show

The Train Project Arts Centre Review by katy hayes

Katy Hayes

Published 09/10/2015 | 07:00

Karen McCartney, Lisa Lambe, Sophie Jo Wasson, Kate Gilmore and Danielle Galligan in The Train by Rough Magic as part of the Dublin Theatre Festival
Karen McCartney, Lisa Lambe, Sophie Jo Wasson, Kate Gilmore and Danielle Galligan in The Train by Rough Magic as part of the Dublin Theatre Festival

The decision to tackle the subject of the 1971 pill train as musical theatre is inspired. It is hard to believe now, but contraception was illegal in Ireland in the recent past and a bunch of early feminists took the train to Belfast to buy contraceptives.

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The event itself had a staged quality: it was very much performed as public spectacle and its success or failure depended on press coverage and gaining an audience, much like a theatre show.

Writer Arthur Riordan is one of the Irish stage's criminally underexploited talents and Rough Magic director Lynne Parker creates a tone of fiery comic exuberance.

Several of the actors are very young and all the performances are top notch. Lisa Lambe brings her stunning voice on board.

A central narrative device is an archetypal Irish marriage between Aoife and Adam. Clare Barrett is completely hilarious in this, accompanied by a strong and versatile Emmet Kirwan.

When musical theatre hits the emotional hot spot, it has arrived at its destination.

The whole show is a triumph.

Irish Independent

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