New theater show set to roll into Lanarkshire this weekend

A theater production marking the 50th anniversary of the famous Glasgow shipbuilders “work-in” comes to Rutherglen this weekend.

A performance of’ And it is! And it is! UCS!’ will be held at St Columbkille’s Hall in the town on Saturday, April 23.

And Rutherglen locals have already played their part in helping the writer do his research.

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Neil Gore, writer of the play, told Lanarkshire Live : “After very successful visits to Clydebank and Govan, the touring company of’ And it is! And it is! UCS!’ are looking forward very much to coming to Rutherglen and are excited about performing for a full house in the town.

“The company has already had an excellent relationship with the People’s Past, People’s Future group in Rutherglen over the last two or three years.

“That has seen us attend meetings and interview people about their memories of working lives in shipbuilding and other trades connected to building ships and heavy industries throughout the Clydeside area.

“The Auld Rutherglen Facebook page has also been a great resource during the research for the writing of the play and the development of the show.”

The UCS – Upper Clyde Shipbuilders – when faced with the shipyards entering liquidation in 1971 and the loss of thousands of jobs, they conducted a ‘work-in’ to complete their orders that were already in place.

And the play focuses on two women workers in an industry facing imminent closure, who are drawn into a battle to save thousands of jobs across Glasgow and the West of Scotland.

Townsend Theater Production uses a combination of powerful theatrical storytelling, live rock and folk music from the early 70s and graphic art animation projection to bring messages of hope, social justice, and the fight for the right to work.

That’s as well as shining a light on the skills of Scottish shipbuilding and the role women played in the fight for the right to work.

Neil added: “The story we tell of the UCS work-in through the play has not only brought back so many memories for people, but has also proved to be inspirational for audiences.

“It’s a positive story of group support and joint community action, and a positive message with so many contemporary relevant aspects to the campaign that have clearly resonated with audiences.

“For all these reasons we are looking forward to bringing this story ‘home’ once again.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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