Steve Gooch - Playwright Dramatist Author Writer Editor

Female Transport: Script Excerpt

Herded into their cell aboard the convict ship, the six women convicts have little idea of the harrowing six-month journey that lies in wait for them.

'A tough, realistic and detailed account of the hardships endured by six female convicts transported to Australia in the early 19th Century' - Michael Billington, The Guardian

Female Transport

(above: still from Alma College Theatre production of Female Transport)

Nance: ... marvellous, the pairin' off in 'ere. There's Madam Lesbos and the late Prime Minister in one corner, Elizabeth Fry an' the vomitin' solider in the other, an' I'm stuck with labourin' 'Ercules here. 'Oo shuffled this pack?

Madge: Why don't yer shut up an' leave us in peace?

Nance: I got a sleep next to it every night. It's criminal, three on a bed.

Charlotte: An' 'ave the rats crawlin' all over me? Quick midnight snack fer the cockroaches? I'm tryin' a exterminate the buggers, not bloody subsidise 'em.

(SARGE and TOMMY enter the cell)

Charlotte: Look what the tide's brought in.

Nance: All I need's the laughin' policeman.

Sarge: Enjoy yer first sailor's dinner, me darlin's?

Charlotte: Got a be a sadist to enjoy your job, en't yer.

Sarge: Don't roll those eyes at me, Charlotte. Once I'm encouraged there's no holdin' me.

Charlotte: I'd 'ave to be desperate to encourage you. 'Ow'd yer know me name anyway?

Sarge: I got you marked out fer special treatment ...

Female Transport by Steve Gooch stage set

(above: still from Sheldon Vexler Theatre, Texas production of Female Transport)

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