Townsend Productions’ excellent play We Are The Lions Mr. Manager, which received rave reviews during its 2018 tour is to be published by Stagescripts as part of the publisher’s 11th birthday celebrations.
Written by Neil Gore, We Are The Lions Mr. Manager takes as its subject the infamous Grunwick strike of the mid-1970s and through its clever staging and characterisation is an invaluable historical document: this makes it a particularly apt choice for publication given the publisher’s objective of selecting plays “which reflect the UK population as a whole culturally, geographically, and in terms of gender and diversity of characters/roles, themes and authorship and which feel relevant today and capable of production tomorrow.”
Gore’s play is part of a canon of works that he has been writing, performing and touring, with Director Louise Townsend for Townsend Productions, which celebrate Britain’s radical social history. When I spoke to Gore during the run of the show he told me why the Grunwick strike had been chosen as a subject: “It was quite a challenge,” he said “to find a strong political subject that involved a female lead, something which both I and Louise thought would be a good move after a couple of “blokey” plays – United We Stand (The Shrewsbury Three) and Dare Devil Rides to Jarama (Clem Becket and the Spanish Civil War). The inspirational Jayaben Desai fitted the bill precisely in her strength of personality and persistence in changing attitudes to immigrant workers and providing a tipping point where unions could fight back against state oppressors.”
We Are The Lions Mr. Manager is an entertaining play that depicts a tumultuous event that had a significant impact on how industrial relations developed over the following decades. It’s theatre that is worth experiencing, being an important contribution to understanding how politics defines our lives, and thus its publication by Stagescripts represents appropriate recognition of important political drama.
By Peter Yates
Read the interview with Neil Gore
“…this production is an absolute winner.” – Review by Chris Omaweng
“This is theatre that is worth experiencing and it’s an important contribution to understanding how politics defines our lives.” Review by Peter Yates