“THE SEVEN plays in this book are about class-conscious workers who recognise that they have the power to change society,” says GFTU general secretary Doug Nicholls of Workers' Playtime. “That did not exist until workers created it and it resides in collective action and an indomitable sense of justice.”
He'll be at the northern launch of the book, organised by the Mary Quaile Club, on May 19 at Manchester's Three Minute Theatre. Manchester Shakespeare Company are dramatising excerpts from the plays, including Dare to Be Free by Jane McNulty which commemorates the life and activity of Manchester-Irish trade unionist Mary Quaile while drawing links with today’s fast-food strikers.
Also being staged are extracts from Kathleen McCreery's The Chambermaids, the story of a group of Grosvenor House Hotel chambermaids who took on catering giant Trust House Forte in 1979 when their Jarrow-born shop steward was unfairly suspended and Out! On the Costa del Trico, which recounts the battle at a window-screen wiper factory when a group of women won their battle for equal pay in 1976.
One of the Trico strikers, Sally Groves, will speak at the launch and believes it very important for dispute to be remembered. “Firstly, we won more than equal pay after the negotiations were completed. The strike speaks to people today about what you can achieve if you stick together as workers, get your union behind you and, most importantly, don’t give up.”
Workers’ Playtime brings to life such stories of people who dared to challenge injustice at work and in society at large. Some of them won and all are part of a rich radical culture. As Nicholls says, “We are not going to rebuild and transform Britain without stirring the imagination and reconnecting with the confidence and struggles of our predecessors.
“Live theatre is one of the best ways of doing this and all of the plays we have collected speak vividly to us today, reminding us of the heroism and achievements and living relevance of those who fought before.”
The launch takes place on May 19 at 6pm at Three Minute Theatre. Booking is essential at firstname.lastname@example.org
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by joining the 501 club.
Just £5 a month gives you the opportunity to win one of 17 prizes, from £25 to the £501 jackpot.
By becoming a 501 Club member you are helping the Morning Star cover its printing, distribution and staff costs — help keep our paper thriving by joining!
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by become a member of the People’s Printing Press Society.
The Morning Star is a readers’ co-operative, which means you can become an owner of the paper too by buying shares in the society.
Shares are £1 each — though unlike capitalist firms, each shareholder has an equal say. Money from shares contributes directly to keep our paper thriving.
Some union branches have taken out shares of over £500 and individuals over £100.
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by donating to the Fighting Fund.
The Morning Star is unique, as a lone socialist voice in a sea of corporate media. We offer a platform for those who would otherwise never be listened to, coverage of stories that would otherwise be buried.
The rich don’t like us, and they don’t advertise with us, so we rely on you, our readers and friends. With a regular donation to our monthly Fighting Fund, we can continue to thumb our noses at the fat cats and tell truth to power.
Donate today and make a regular contribution.