New Internationalist books and publications

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'Trade union struggles over the years have inspired some of our greatest playwrights. They have also inspired many works of drama that packed a punch in their time but have since been largely – and unjustly – forgotten. This is a rich seam that Workers’ Play Time has only just begun to mine. We hope that these plays will be taken up anew and performed again and again, and we hope that this book will stimulate interest in the rich tradition of progressive, working-class drama.' - Culture Matters.

'Reading the plays is a history lesson in itself. Unlike most of mainstream theatre, the plays remind us of the importance of the ordinary person’s desire for justice, and how this really fuels political activity and change in society. It is a reminder of the power of political theatre and how we are all diminished by its scarcity in 2017. I hope this collection will inspire and stir up workers out there…' - Lipstick Socialist.

Characters from Tolpuddle to Trico, from the early struggles for organisation to the recent struggles to save the youth service, speak out in the dozen plays collected in Volume One. The plays had tremendous reception in performance over the years, and are all printed here for the permanent record for the first time and to encourage new productions.

Volume One plays include:

Out! On the Costa Del Trico (1976), a brilliant account of the first struggle for equal pay for women led by Asian workers and based on interviews with many involved.

Hannah (2001) by Eileen Murphy, about great labour movement activist Hannah Mitchell.

Dare to be Free (2016) by Jane McNulty, a moving account of the work of Mary Quaile to organise café workers in the 1930s on their equivalent of zero hours contracts.

Jim Kenworth’s A Splotch of Red (2016) imagines Keir Hardie and Will Thorne returned to the 21st century to find that The Red Flag and ideas of class consciousness are not as prevalent as they once were.

Neil Gore’s We Will Be Free (2013) takes audiences and readers back to 1834 and a key point in trade union origins, exploring the hearts and minds of the Tolpuddle Martyrs.

Bolton Rising by Neil Duffield, Luddite protests and savage repression of workers in Lancashire.

The Chamberminds by Kathleen McCreery, Inspired by the Grosvenor House Hotel strike in the 1980s.

ISBN-13: 978-1-78026-427-1
Publication date: October 2017
Dimensions: 216mm x 135mm
Format: Paperback
Page extent: 240

Date added: September 4, 2017

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