‘The Train’ rolls into the Mac

Danielle Galligan, Kate Gilmore, Lisa Lambe, Sophie Jo Wasson & Karen McCartney in Rough Magic Theatre Company's The Train by Arthur Riordan and Bill Whelan at The MAC 19-23 April, 2017.

Danielle Galligan, Kate Gilmore, Lisa Lambe, Sophie Jo Wasson & Karen McCartney in Rough Magic Theatre Company's The Train by Arthur Riordan and Bill Whelan at The MAC 19-23 April, 2017.

Rough Magic Theatre Company have announced that their musical The Train will take to the stage at the MAC in Belfast from April 19-23.

This completes an important step of the journey for this fictional celebration of a remarkable media coup; when 47 women challenged the restrictive laws of the Irish State in 1971, by taking a train to Belfast and returning to Dublin with forbidden contraceptives.

Simon Magill, Creative Director at the MAC, said: “We always strive to offer our audiences the best in homegrown Irish drama and we are delighted to welcome back Rough Magic to present their fantastic musical, The Train, at the MAC. Direct from its run at The Abbey Theatre, Dublin, it is fitting that we re-trace the steps of 47 trailblazing women from Dublin to Belfast.”

The show is directed by Belfast-born Lynne Parker, with book and lyrics by Arthur Riordan (‘Improbable Frequency’) and music composed by Bill Whelan (‘Riverdance’).

“To take The Train – literally – to Belfast is a hugely exciting prospect, mirroring the original journey and giving us a tremendous platform to raise awareness of the issues in the piece,” said Lynne Parker. “It was a time, as the women of ‘71 said, ‘when the world turned on its axis’. We are living through such a time now and this history has real currency.”

The cast will be Clare Barrett, Danielle Galligan, Kate Gilmore, Darragh Kelly, Lisa Lambe, Karen McCartney, Sophie Jo Wasson Louis Lovett and Ross Gaynor, with a live band under the musical direction of Cathal Synnott

In an environment where gender equality in theatre has never been more pertinent, this watershed moment in Irish social and political life is joyously captured by Arthur Riordan’s wit and Bill Whelan’s dynamic score.

Bill Whelan said of this 2017 production, “When Arthur Riordan and I began working on the Train for Rough Magic some years ago, it seemed that the issues raised in 1971 were still startlingly relevant. Given recent political upheavals, it would now appear that the further we move from the actual historical event, the more relevant and urgent those issues have become.”

For more information and to book, visit themaclive.com.