Townsend Productions, in association with IBMT Harrogate Theatre, The Place Bedford and Unite the Union, present
Dare Devil Rides To Jarama by Neil Gore
UK Tour: 24th September – 3rd December 2016
London press night: Tuesday 25th October 2016
Harrogate press night: Thursday 29th September 2016
Marking the 80th anniversary of the Spanish Civil War, Dare Devil Rides To Jarama is a world premiere based on the experiences of The International Brigades during The Spanish Civil War. Looking at the powerful political and economic forces that engulfed 1930s Europe, Dare Devil Rides to Jarama follows why so many ordinary people made the extraordinary choice to leave family and livelihoods and fight in a brutal war so far from home.
When Spaniards rose up to resist General Franco's military rebellion in 1936, it was an inspiration to millions of people worldwide. Their heroic struggle alerted the rest of the world to the threat of fascism. Dare Devil Rides To Jarama commemorates and celebrates the contribution and sacrifice of the Volunteer International Brigades, including two and a half thousand from Britain and Ireland.
Compelling and humorous, Dare Devil Rides To Jarama focuses on the contrasting lives of Clem Beckett, a Lancashire blacksmith and famous star of the speedway track, and Christopher Caudwell, a renowned writer, poet and philosopher. Both men were killed together at Jarama in February 1937, having become friends as members of the British Battalion's machine-gun company.
Through stirring song, poetry and compelling movement and dance, Dare Devil Rides To Jarama captures the raw passions and emotions of the time. Musical direction is from acclaimed folk singer and squeeze box player John Kirkpatrick.
The play has a particular resonance in our current climate as it examines how the economic pressures in the 1930s contributed to the rise of xenophobic tendencies throughout Europe and the failure of a unified left to join together to successfully challenge these forces.
Dare Devil Rides To Jarama aims to bring the full story of the compelling dispute to life in this powerful and thought-provoking new play. This production follows Townsend Productions’ critically acclaimed United We Stand, The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists and We Will Be Free.
Director Louise Townsend comments, This project is a tremendous opportunity to tell this very intricate and extraordinary story of exceptional people. The challenge is twofold - to do justice to their achievements and to reflect the dense, turbulent political and historical times.
Writer Neil Gore comments, The play is an exciting and evocative piece about the incredible contribution made by the volunteers that made up the International Brigades to fight the forces of fascism and to uphold the power of democracy. It is also an important examination of the fascinating and brilliant life of Clem Beckett who achieved so much in such a short time as a top speedway rider and a rider in the Wall of Death around Europe.