Rouse Ye Women
Presented by Townsend Theatre Productions
Fri 29 March 7pm
Tickets: £12/ £6/ £3.50 (Good Neighbours)
‘Rouse, Ye Women!’ is a folk-song opera that tells the story of Mary Macarthur and the chain-makers, and shares the story of the lives of the workers and campaigners through rousing, heartfelt traditional song and music.
In 1910 the women chainmakers of Cradley Heath focused the world’s attention on the plight of Britain’s low-paid women workers involved in the ‘home-working sweated industries’, hammering out chain-links in sheds in the backyards of their homes with their babies and children for 5 shillings (25p) for a 50-hour week. Led by the charismatic union organiser and campaigner, Mary Reid Macarthur, hundreds of women laid down their tools to strike for a living wage.
Through rousing traditional songs and moving ballads, Townsend Theatre Productions reveals the horrors of sweated labour, Mary Macarthur’s stunning national campaign to expose the perpetrators of this appalling employment, the universal sympathy for the workers, the flood of donations, and the events that led to a final victory.
Director: Louise Townsend
Designer: Elizabeth Wright
Lighting Designer: Daniella Beattie
Music by John Kirkpatrick and Neil Gore