Pioneering Theatre, Music and Community Arts
In Wolverhampton from 1980 to 2013
Zip Theatre gratefully
Matrix Standard for
Advice & Guidance
Shout! 1:Firefighter 7.87 Wortley Weekend
At 9.00 p.m. in the ballroom, the firefighters' school was treated to an extra curricular event: Zip Theatre's production of "Shout" a play about firefighters and the events surrounding the strike in November 1977.
The cast were given a five-
Through the power of live theatre we were transported back ten years complete with the humour, emotion and drama of those nine weeks of struggle. A concisely written script and effective production makes for an experience that should be enjoyed by all firefighters.
(John Gordon, No. 7 Regional Education Officer)
2:The Times Educational Supplement 8.5.87
Firemen's strike -
For their touring production for the next couple of months, this community theatre group, which is substantially funded by Wolverhampton Borough Council, has devised a documentary musical play about the 1977 firemen's strike.
Starting from a discussion in a present day fire station, the action goes back to the beginning of the strike and traces it as it might have been experienced by a group of West Midlands firemen. We see them arguing the morality of their action: we hear the speeches of their union conference; we see them on the picket line and we hear the complaints of their wives.
The story is told with great pace and power. The glaring contrast in 1977 was between the dangerous horrific and highly skilled work of the fireman and the derisory wage which he took home which was considerably less than the national average. The play makes the most of this and loses no time in telling of men who left to become milkmen at considerably higher rates of pay.
The play is immaculately researched and always convincing. The cast of eight work hard to create the illusion of a much larger number of players and they leap into their musical numbers with great versatility and skill.
The real drama for me, though, was to sit watching this play in the fire station
rest room with an audience of firemen and their families. The power of the play's
message crackled through the room in a tangible way and on two occasions the action
was momentarily halted while a genuine call-