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New Play Based on Shrewsbury 24 Comes to Stephen Joseph Theatre

United We Stand

In 1972 tens of thousands of construction workers won the first national strike in the industry for better pay and conditions. United We Stand is a new play by Neil Gore which is based on events at that time and will show at the Stephen Joseph Theatre in March.

Sharp and humorous, United We Stand tells the story behind the compelling dispute and dispels the myth, put about at the time, that the pickets were a criminally violent  rather than ordinary working men seeking a better life for themselves and their fellow workers.

Showing at the SJT on 10 March at 7:45pm the play has been produced by the company that brought The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists and We Will Be Free.

The events surrounding the strike are still making headlines to this day and, 42 years on, the high profile Shrewsbury 24 campaign, led by picket-turned-actor Ricky Tomlinson, is still seeking to overturn the unjust prosecution of the 24 building workers.

A powerful and thought-provoking play, United We Stand combines Townsend Productions' grand theatrical style and wit with political songs arranged by renowned folk musician John Kirkpatrick and Ricky Tomlinson's poems from his time in prison.

Talking about the play Ricky Tomlinson said:

"I am delighted The Townsend Theatre Company are presenting a play about the 1972 building workers strike, and the plight of the Shrewsbury 24 building worker pickets. It is 41 years since I together with Des Warren and John McKinsie Jones were charged with conspiracy and jailed. "

"We were charged with conspiracy, but we believe the real conspiracy was between the government, the building contractors and the judiciary. They wanted the prison sentences to act as a deterrent, to prevent workers from taking strike action. Every worker should know what happened to us so as to ensure it does not happen again."

Playwright Neil Gore added:

"By producing this piece of theatre we are aiming to raise awareness to the determination and courage of those who sacrificed their freedom, reputations and opportunities in seeking better conditions for their fellow workers, and to focus sharply on the political nature of the case brought against them - the 'real conspiracy' initiated and devised by government, big business and the law."
United We Stand is directed by Louise Townsend and features Neil Gore and William Fox in the cast.

Tickets, priced from £10 to £15, can be purchased at the Box Office on 01723 370541 or online at

New Play Based on Shrewsbury 24 Comes to Stephen Joseph Theatre Reviewed by Editor on 10:55:00 Rating: 5

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