“This is an electric light. It switches on and off here. Always put it on before you leave the room empty. You wish to work on the ships?”
RIOT, recalls the events of 2 August 1930, the Yemeni and British seamen’s riots in South Shields, but it speaks to the Britain of today. During the disturbances a police officer was stabbed and more than 20 Yemenis were later deported from the country. The play is relevant to today’s ethnic tensions and tells an important story about a little-known piece of social history.
Author, Peter Mortimer says “The play tries to understand what caused this riot. The Arabs got blamed for high levels of unemployment at the time and they were the scapegoats.”
“An honest, sympathetic, sometimes self-deprecatingly humorous but illuminating book that is deeply relevant to the troubled times we’re currently living through” – Shields Gazette
“It is about the cauldron of prejudice, ignorance, generational divide and politics which brewed up into the ingredients for a riot.”
– The Journal
“Touching, thought-provoking and, at times, humorous”
– North Tyneside News Guardian
“An astounding piece of work. A genuinely brilliant piece of theatre.”
– Newcastle Evening Chronicle
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