A new folk opera by Neil Gore and John Kirkpatrick
Presented by Townsend Theatre Productions
By Neil Gore & John Kirkpatrick
Directed by Louise Townsend
The story of Britain’s low-paid women workers and how campaigner Mary Reid Macarthur led them to strike.
Price: From £10
In 1910 the women chainmakers of Cradley Heath focussed the world’s attention on the plight of Britain’s low-paid women workers involved in the ‘home-working sweated industries’, hammering out chain-links in sheds in the backyards of their homes with their babies and children for 5 shillings (25p) for a 50-hour week.
Led by the charismatic union organiser and campaigner, Mary Reid Macarthur, hundreds of women laid down their tools to strike for a living wage.
The success of the ten-week strike more than doubled their earnings and helped to make the principle of a national minimum wage a reality.
Through rousing traditional songs and moving ballads, Townsend Theatre Productions reveals the horrors of sweated labour, Mary Macarthur’s stunning national campaign to expose the perpetrators of this appalling employment, the universal sympathy for the workers, the flood of donations, and the events that led to a final victory.
‘A powerful story, powerfully told.'
Clare Brennan, The Observer
"powerful, clearly drawn and poignant... it's a must-see"
"If you get the chance, go and see this. In fact, go twice. Take friends, family and random strangers"
"a vivid, upbeat performance celebrating a very important struggle"
British Theatre Guide
Guardian Readers top favourite shows 2017
Friday 5 April 2019, 7.45pm