“I would like to make a plea to the owners. Here are young people of whom you ought to be proud, because these are people of such integrity. You should be glad that you have people of such calibre working for you. I would like to call on you to hear what they are trying to say.”
Archbishop Desmond Tutu in 1984
By Tracy Ryan
On the afternoon of Wednesday 2nd December 2015 at the Park Theatre, London we presented a rehearsed reading of Strike! to an invited audience.
The economy is failing, unemployment is rife, and a small group of young people are about to change the world.
19 JULY 1984
Mary Manning, a twenty-one year old shop worker, refuses to sell South African fruit to a Dunnes store customer and is suspended. Ten colleagues follow her out on strike, thinking it will only last two weeks. It goes on for nearly three years.
Drawing on archival material including personal interviews with the strikers and union organiser Brendan Archbold, Strike! brings to life the powerful and moving story of the Dunnes Store Anti-Apartheid strike in which a small group of young people took a stand and changed the world.
The reading was directed by Caitriona McLaughlin and presented by a cast of 16 actors:
Alma Annette O’Shea
Cathryn Nicola Kavanagh
Karen Doireann May White
Liz Roxanna Nic Liam
Mary Sinéad Beary
Michelle Mairead Cumiskey
Sandra Clíodhna McCorley
Theresa/Maria Dorothy Cotter
Tommy/Boss 1 Kevin Trainor
Vonnie Lucia McAnespie
Nimrod Sejake/Government Aide/Bishop Tutu quote/Ephraim Sejake Trevor Michael Georges
Sinead/Customer 2/Channel 4 Presenter/Party Guest Woman 3/Reporter/Radio Newscaster 1 Tracy Kearney
Customer 1/Boss 2/Paula/SA Woman/Nun/Vonnie’s Mum/Party Guest Woman 2/Newscaster 2 & 3 Annette Flynn
Brendan Barron/Paul, Henry St Manager/Minister/Marius Schoon/ TUC Member Ciaran O’Brien
Brendan/Priest/Bishop/Special Branch 1/Party Guest Man 1 Fionn Walton
John Mitchel/Police Officer 1/Mr Keogh/Special Branch 2/Judge/Minister for Labour Howard Teale