This is the story of Jayaben Desai, the 1976-78 Grunwick strike instigator who walked out of the North-West London factory in support of a sacked co-worker, uttering the memorable phrase, We Are The Lions, Mr. Manager. Neil Gore’s retelling of this story is one equally full of passion and guts; one which honours and pays homage to a poignant moment in socialist history, in a decade when striking was the only way for the working class to be heard. But, for all its ferocity and righteousness, this production does not conjure the same level of heightened emotion needed to effectively paint a picture of the struggle that the strikers faced.
Tag: Tara Arts
Following a successful UK tour marking the 80th anniversary of the Spanish Civil War, Dare Devil Rides To Jarama comes to Tara Theatre for a limited run.
Originally published by Exeunt
Nigeria; London; Dublin; back to London – as a child, Inua Ellams and his family were passed from pillar to post. Living everywhere and belonging nowhere, Ellams discusses the feeling of being lost, afraid and alone in his one-man spoken word show An Evening With An Immigrant. Now he has a UK Visa, Indefinite Leave To Remain (ILR), but twelve years of fighting and appealing The Home Office to achieve this status has left its scars. From middle class in Nigeria to penniless in Peckham, Ellams shares his stories and releases his pent-up fears through spoken word – it’s the cheapest way for him to be free.
An Evening With An Immigrant continues its UK tour with London performances at Stratford Circus Arts Centre and Tara Arts.
Originally published on A Younger Theatre
The British Empire feels like an octopus, its tentacles stretching out across the globe and touching all continents, everything feeding back into the main body at the centre. Porcelain from China; tea from India; foodstuffs from the West Indies, all passing from Britain for the upper classes to cream the profits off the top. But when a World War hits, the tentacles require people, blood sacrifices to help support the war effort. Hundreds of thousands of deaths from across the empire, dozens of nationalities. Towards the end of Patricia Cumper’s powerfully evocative Chigger Foot Boys, Rhodes scholar and Oxford law graduate Norman Manley (Jonathan Chambers) reflects in his halls of residence on the pointlessness of it all, musing out loud to the memory of his dead brother Roy (John Leader) who perished in a trench as part of the war effort. Jump back to a night in a rum shack before it all began, a competitive game of dominoes between four men creates a nostalgia that the audience feel throughout Irina Brown’s production.