Divide and Rule Britannia

Company Name: Broadside Mobile Workers’ Theatre
Devised: A Red Ladder show, revived and updated by Broadside
Director: Kathleen McCreery, Richard Stourac
Cast: Ian Saville, Kathleen McCreery, Richard Stourac, Lorna Edwards, Julie Holledge

‘This punchy, 20 minutes play shows how racialism is used in an economic slump to divide and defeat striking workers. Made in response to requests from anti-racist groups it has been performed at numerous demonstrations, rallies and festivals, as well as at trade union meetings and in schools and colleges.  A historical flashback illustrates how the colonies’ natural resources and cheap labour were exploited. Then comes the brief boom of the 50’s when black and Asian workers were invited to Britain to run our trains and staff our hos­pitals.’  ‘Sir Jack Boot drives his workers hard in the factory, while Kid Glove, his ally in parliament, shows how, with the help of tele­vision and the press, he can keep the workforce from organising -by setting them at each others throats! As the crisis deepens, Kid Glove looks for ways to implement large-scale unemployment and to cut back on welfare…and get away with it. So when black and white unite and strike against redundancies, he starts a campaign of race hatred which effectively divides them – and so smashes the strike. But not everyone is fooled by his propaganda and the fight for class unity against racism and fascism goes on. Come and take sides.’ ‘The show confronts the myths about immigration and its effect on housing, jobs and crime, and calls for unity against racism and fascism.For your lunchtime, branch meeting or social, your ticket-line or demonstration. 20 minutes, indoors or out, space required 20′ wide x 12′ deep x 12′ high (flexible)’. (Broadside, 1978 show listings and description.)

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