A SPLOTCH OF RED: KEIR HARDIE IN WEST HAM Set to Open in Newham
A Splotch of Red: Keir Hardie in West Ham by Jim Kenworth and directed by James Martin Charlton
Keir Hardie is Labour's great pioneer and its greatest hero. Without him, the party would never have existed. Newham, the London borough whose motto is "Progress with the People", has a strong connection with Hardie. In the 1892 General Election, Hardie stood as the Independent candidate for the West Ham South constituency.
An illegitimate and wretchedly poor son of a servant, Hardie had worked in the coal mines from the age of 10. How could he possibly take on the formidable might of the Conservative Party candidate, the wealthy and blue-blooded Major Banes? Could he actually win the election in West Ham and become Britain's fist socialist MP?
From the same writer and director team who staged Orwell's Animal Farm as Revolution Farm on an inner city Newham farm, A Splotch of Red: Keir Hardie in West Ham is being performed site specific in Newham's libraries and Community Links' Neighbours Hall in Canning Town. This was the hall where Hardie spoke at one of his many election rallies in Newham, and as a centre for social change, Will Thorne, Bertrand Russell and Sylvia Pankhurst were all to speak, or work, from there.This is a free event at libraries supported by Newham Council - just turn up at the Library of your choice, but reservation on www.splotchofred.co.uk ensures entry.
Performances at Community Links are pay what you can with a suggested donation of £5Following the critical acclaim of James Kenworth's When Chaplin Met Gandhi and Revolution Farm, two plays which were a unique collaboration between professional theatre artists and young people in Newham, A Splotch of Red: Keir Hardie in West Ham is the third in a trilogy that explores the borough's rich heritage and shows off the talent of its young people.
It continues the collaboration between Kenworth and director James Martin Charlton, following Gob (King's Head Theatre) and Revolution Farm.