Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/921/23793

From The Socialist newspaper, 19 October 2016

Theatre: Dare Devil Rides to Jarama

Moving, funny and inspiring tribute to working class heroism

Clem Beckett in 1929

Clem Beckett in 1929   (Click to enlarge)

Becci Heagney, Salford Socialist Party

Adelante! "Forever forward" - the motto of an ordinary man from Oldham who did extraordinary things, and lost his life in the Spanish civil war.

'Dare Devil Rides to Jarama' is a moving, funny and inspiring account of the life of Clem 'Dare Devil' Beckett. It is a great feat considering the cast is just two people, but portrays with realism dirt track races, mass protests and war.

Commissioned by the International Brigade Memorial Trust and backed by general union Unite, Socialist Party members Neil Gore and Louise Townsend wrote and directed the play for the war's 80th anniversary.

Audience participation in 'I'm a Rambler', 'Lancashire Lads' and 'The Internationale' helps tell the story of Clem's involvement in mass trespass, driving Oswald Mosley out of Manchester, and fighting fascism in Spain. I saw it in a theatre only a couple of miles down the road from where Clem was born; one of his nieces was in the audience.

As a member of the Young Communist League, he wrote for the Communist Party's newspaper, the Daily Worker. And he unionised his workplace - the speedway track!

As the sport became more popular, businessmen took control and pushed young drivers to risk their lives without proper training and many were killed. Clem set up the Dirt Track Riders Association to organise the riders, but was eventually blacklisted from the sport in Britain.

He travelled to Germany, Den-mark and the Soviet Union where he competed in races, broke world records - and bones! - and met Communist Party members across Europe. When he heard of the International Brigades going to help the war against fascism in Spain, he didn't hesitate to sign up.

The first half of 'Dare Devil' shows that it was ordinary people, politicised by their life experiences, who were drawn into struggle throughout the 1930s. Clem could have had fame and money, but he gave that up because of his commitment to socialist ideas.

The second half is set in Spain and, through the experience of Clem and his friend Christopher, shows the frustration that many felt during the civil war. They wanted to fight, but there was lack of organisation, training and decent weapons. "This gun is shit and if it jams, you're fucked!"

Ending with Clem's death at the Battle of Jarama, it is a timely reminder, on the 80th anniversary, of the sacrifices working class people have made.

The Spanish civil war displayed the heroism and instinctive international solidarity of working class people. This play is a wonderful tribute to those people.


October

20 Chilwell Arts Centre, Beeston

21 The Lansdown Hall, Stroud

22 The Seagull, Lowestoft

24-29 The Bussey Building, Peckham, London

30 The Marx Memorial Library, Clerkenwell, London (extracts and songs only)

November

1 Hertford Theatre

2 Wedgwood Rooms, Southsea

3 The Plough Arts Centre, Great Torrington

4 Dorchester Arts Centre

5 Bridport Arts Centre

7 Theatre Royal Margate

10 The Civic, Barnsley

11 Witham Hall, Barnard Castle

12 Cast, Doncaster

13 Severn Theatre, Shrewsbury

14 -19 Lantern Theatre, Sheffield

22 -23 St Michael's Irish Centre, Liverpool

25 Assembly Rooms, Barton

26 Swanland Village Hall

29 Lighthouse, Poole

30 The Place, Bedford

December

1 Square Chapel, Halifax

2 The Hat Factory, Luton

3 Ruskin College, Oxford

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 19 October 2016:


Socialist Party news and analysis

NHS at breaking Point

Teachers working 60 hours need strikes, not studies

Elderly care at crisis point

Health campaigns demonstrate together in 'one fight'

NHS cancer and dementia drugs 'unaffordable'

Them & Us


What we think

No backtracks, no compromises: we must fight for real democracy in the Labour Party

TUSC discusses new tasks after Corbyn victory


Workplace news and analysis

Sheffield bin striker slams privatised refuse bosses

Newsquest strike: Bosses realise 'contraints' of scab labour

London Underground cleaners protest pay cut

Support the 'Kinsley 3' cleaners in pay fight


International socialist news and analysis

Syria: horror deepens in Aleppo


Socialist history

Aberfan: a disaster that should never have happened

Suez 1956: the decline of British imperialism and rise of the colonial revolution


Black History Month

The radical life of Paul Robeson


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Butterfields housing victory: "We showed that if you stick together and fight you can win"

Come to Socialism 2016

Can you donate to the Socialism 2016 appeal?

Cheshire and Merseyside: Huge NHS cuts and privatisation planned

Devon: Campaigning against community hospitals closures

Bristol: Millions of pounds of "horrifically unpalatable" cuts


Socialist readers' comments and reviews

Moving, funny and inspiring tribute to working class heroism

Film review: Deepwater Horizon

Review: BBC2's Poetry Night

The Socialist inbox


 

Home   |   The Socialist 19 October 2016   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook






Related links:

Theatre:

triangleWelsh update of Chekhov an engrossing tale of 1980s class conflict

triangleNew play celebrates Grunwick strike

trianglePowerful picture of the Port Talbot steel workers' struggle

triangleCorbyn confirms 1bn for the arts

triangleRussia 1917: how art helped make the revolution

Working class:

triangleWaltham Forest Socialist Party: Environmental crisis - a working class issue

triangleBosses say 217 years to close pay gap - workers' struggle can close it now!

triangleSocialism 2017: ideas to change the world

triangleCatalonia: Rajoy's furious response to proclamation of Republic

War:

triangleCaerphilly Socialist Party: Are we heading for an era of war?

triangleComprehensive account of bloody conflict

triangleKurdish referendum declared illegal

Arts:

triangleSkipton show proves draw of socialist art

triangle'Dazzling' Bad Art show points to socialist future

Socialist:

triangleHackney Socialist Party: Catalonia - Your chance to pose questions

Spain:

triangleSpain: Madrid rally celebrates October revolution

Sport:

triangleDon't wreck our rec! Campaigning to save green space in Standish

Fascism:

triangleDemonstrators see off far-right in Keighley

Manchester:

triangleStrike wave continues with 49 walkout days by housing workers

Oldham:

triangleOldham East and Saddleworth by-election: A left-wing workers' alternative needed

Reviews and comments

Reviews and comments

15/11/17

The Socialist

The Socialist Inbox

15/11/17

Abortion

TV review: Abortion on Trial - hard-hitting look at impact of 1967 act

15/11/17

Vietnam war

Comprehensive account of bloody conflict

8/11/17

Letters

The Socialist inbox

8/11/17

Obituary

Obituary: Paul Randall, 1959-2017

8/11/17

Theatre

Welsh update of Chekhov an engrossing tale of 1980s class conflict

1/11/17

Letters

The Socialist inbox

25/10/17

Letters

The Socialist inbox

25/10/17

Fidel Castro

New musical on life of Castro

25/10/17

Film

Film - Dennis Skinner: Nature of the Beast

25/10/17

Russian revolution

Well-deserved ridicule of Stalinism is impressive, funny but flawed

18/10/17

Port Talbot

Powerful picture of the Port Talbot steel workers' struggle

18/10/17

Russian revolution

October 1917 reviews: 'More bright than any heaven'

11/10/17

Theresa May

Theresa May, Frida Kahlo and turning women into wares

11/10/17

Docks

Poverty, repression and fightback on the docks

triangleMore Reviews and comments articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

triangle15 Nov March for free education! We demand a future!

triangle15 Nov Tories on the brink - kick them out!

Socialism 2017

triangle14 Nov Socialism 2017: Organising to fight back

triangle13 Nov Strike wave continues with 49 walkout days by housing workers

triangle10 Nov US: Historic vote for Ginger Jentzen campaign in Minneapolis

triangle10 Nov Strikers picket the South Western Railway network

triangle10 Nov Europe in crisis, revolutionary winds in Catalonia

More ...

triangle20 Nov Birmingham Central Socialist Party: How can socialists support upcoming strikes?

triangle21 Nov Bristol North Socialist Party: Venezuela - the battle to be faced by a Corbyn government?

triangle21 Nov Cardiff Socialist Students: Socialism and the struggle for LGBT rights

triangle21 Nov Birmingham South East Socialist Party: NHS in Meltdown - What can be done?

More ...

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Archive

Archives:

November 2017

October 2017

September 2017

August 2017

July 2017

June 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999

Legal

SP RSS feed RSS

Platform setting: = No platform choice

V2