Monday, 31 January 2011

A radical past: 'Rid The World' at The Lowry

A play about ordinary people uniting for social change in the face of impending state violence. I guess drama doesn’t get much timelier than this. The Lowry are staging Breath Out Theatre’s production of Rid The World. Based on Such Impossibilities, a screenplay by Trevor Griffith, adapted by Rob Johnston, the play traces real-life events from early twentieth-century Liverpool when strikers brought the city close to revolt:

1911. Britain is on the brink of social change. Political activist Tom Mann comes to Liverpool to co-ordinate what would become a full-blown transport strike, transforming Liverpool into a city with its own sense of working-class outrage and social responsibility. As gunboats patrol the Mersey the workers of Liverpool stand together to face odds that are heavily stacked against them.’

Revolution is in the air again, not just nationally of course, but globally. It’s worth remembering the freedoms we enjoy were hard-won by forbears like the Liverpool strikers. It’s easy to feel despair and apathy about The Struggle, sometimes artistic tonic is required to keep the flag flying. Rid The World might just help do the trick for the battles to come.

Thursday 10th to Friday 11th February at The Lowry, Salford Quays

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