Rough Magic

The Train

by Arthur Riordan and Bill Whelan

World Premiere


Lime Tree Theatre, Limerick

29 September - 3 October 2015



Project Arts Centre, Dublin                                                   

6 - 17 October, 2015

As part of Dublin Theatre Festival 





“I'm sure they've lots of reasons to complain

And fair enough, they're sticking out their necks

But bless us all, a contraceptive train,

They might as well be shouting, we have sex!”

-The Train


A new musical from Rough Magic Theatre Company, The Train, with book and lyrics by Arthur Riordan  (‘Improbable Frequency’) and music composed by Bill Whelan (‘Riverdance’), makes its world premiere in October 2015 at the Lime Tree Theatre in Limerick followed by a run at Project Arts Centre as part of the Dublin Theatre Festival.

The eight-strong cast includes Lisa Lambe, Clare Barrett, Kate Gilmore, Darragh Kelly and Emmet Kirwan. Directed by Lynne Parker, the production features a live band under the musical direction of Cathal Synott.  

The Train is a fictional celebration of actual events surrounding the legendary Contraceptive Train, the remarkable media coup orchestrated by the Irish Women’s Liberation Movement in 1971 that changed the social landscape of Ireland. Determined to challenge the restrictive laws of the Irish State, a group of 47 trailblazing women take a train to Belfast and return to Dublin with forbidden contraceptives.

This watershed moment in Irish social and political life is joyously captured by Arthur Riordan’s sharp satire and Bill Whelan’s dynamic score. The Train explores a short journey which marked the beginning of a modern odyssey.

They act as if we’re second class

They can stop us now or let us pass

Either way we’ve proved the law’s an ass

And we won’t bow down today.”

-The Train 


Clare Barrett, Kate Gilmore, Darragh Kelly, Emmet Kirwan, Lisa Lambe, Karen McCartney, Danielle Galligan, Sophie Jo Wasson


Carolyn Goodwin, Steve Holloway, Cathal Synnott, Martin Tourish, Francesco Turrisi 

Creative Team

Music: Bill Whelan

Book and Lyrics: Arthur Riordan

Set and Lighting Design: Ciaran Bagnall

Costume Design: Joan O’Clery

Music Director: Cathal Synnott



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