Human Cargo

Book tickets here

“An elegant, vital insight into human suffering and survival” Cerys Matthews

“If you get a chance to see Matthew Crampton’s story-and-song ‘Human Cargo’ show, do not miss it.” Songlines

This May/June I launch an all-new version of my show Human Cargo with American traditional music legend Jeff Warner. We’re touring it around Britain as a prelude to UK Refugee Week in June, linking with local refugee groups wherever we perform. Also for the Parallel Lives project, I’ll include local migration stories at each venue.

Jeff Warner & Matthew Crampton (pic Tim Chipping)

You can expect a rich evening of story and song, woven together like a radio show, but with the magic of theatre and the warmth of a folk session. There’ll even be jokes – and some music hall. And, through all this, a fresh, firm take on the matter of migration. Do join us.

If you’ve not yet experienced Jeff’s music, you’re in for a treat. He has an ease and humanity which makes you want to listen all day. But the music is rooted in stark, dark themes that suit our subject. Jeff will play songs collected by his parents in the Appalachians, along with shanties and other traditional gems. For a taste, check out his album Long Time Travelling.

The show’s based on my latest book Human Cargo: Stories and Songs of Emigration, Slavery and Transportation. This blends story and folk song to give voice to emigrants, slaves, convicts and other human cargo from the 18th and 19th centuries. You can buy the book here and read more about it at

“Incredibly inspiring, deeply moving and ultimately inspirational.” Sean Cooney, The Young’uns

“Beautiful, powerful, poignant and informative.” Ilyaz Hajat, The Refugee Council

Listen to me chatting with Cerys Matthews about Human Cargo on her BBC 6 Music show.

Here’s a thoughtful review from Amazon:



Here are some of the many illustrations in the book:

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