- Duration: 2 hours including interval
- Tickets: £12/£10
- Company: Townsend Theatre Productions
- Ages: 8+
A new folk opera about Mary Macarthur and the women chainmakers.
In 1910 the women chainmakers of Cradley Heath focussed 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.
The success of the ten-week strike more than doubled their earnings and helped to make the principle of a national minimum wage a reality.
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.
★★★★★“Pulls the heartstrings and stirs the blood.” – LondonTheatre1
“A vivid, upbeat performance celebrating a very important struggle” – British Theatre Guide
Praise for previous shows:
★★★★ ‘A powerful story, powerfully told.’ – The Observer on We Are The Lions, Mr Manager!
Guardian readers top favourite shows 2017: We Are The Lions, Mr Manager!
★★★★★“Quite simply the best political theatre produced for a long, long time” – The Morning Star on dare Devil Rides To Jarama
Parking & Access
There are a number of Blue Badge parking spaces nearby on Beaumont Street, and more on New Inn Hall Street and St Giles.
The closest car park is Gloucester Green Car Park, accessed via Gloucester Street.
If you have any questions or concerns, the City Council’s Access Officer can be reached at 01865 249811.Car parks in Oxford Blue Badge information Public transport in Oxford
Disabled patrons are eligible for one free companion ticket with their booking. To book this, contact the ticket office: firstname.lastname@example.org or 01865 263990.
There are two entrances to the Old Fire Station: 40 George Street via the foyer, and on Gloucester Green via the shop. Both are step-free. If you are coming to a show, we ask that you use the George Street entrance, as the Gloucester Green entrance is not always open.
Events in the Theatre
There is level entry to the foyer of the Old Fire Station, and step-free access to the main Theatre (where most shows take place).
If you are a wheelchair user attending a sit-down show, space will be reserved for you. If you are attending a standing gig, please contact us (call the ticket office on 01865 263990 or e-mail email@example.com) and we will talk with you about your needs.
Events in the Studio
There is level entry into the foyer of the Old Fire Station, and step-free access to the Studio.
Events in the Loft
There are six steps leading up to the Loft space, with no lift. If you would like to discuss this to find out more, please get in touch.
There is step-free access to the Gallery – level entry through the George Street entrance, and via lift from the Gloucester Green entrance.
There is an accessible toilet on the ground floor, accessible via platform lift. Other toilets are in the basement (accessible via lift).
All types of assistance and guide dogs are welcome at the Old Fire Station. It would be great if you could let us know in advance if you will be bringing a working dog to any performances – just e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
We will warn visitors on the website and in the foyer of the venue if a performance is going to contain strobe lighting. If lighting affects you, and you have any concerns, please call the ticket office on 01865 263990 or e-mail email@example.com.
Chairs in the theatre
Our chairs are a standard dining-chair size, measuring 40cm deep by 37cm wide, with a metal frame. Some have arms, and some do not. They are all joined together at the sides, to form rows. If this is likely to pose a problem for you, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and we can discuss how to make your visit more comfortable.