Shipyard Tales

Company Name: Welfare State International

In 1987 the population of Barrow-in-Furness was 70,000. A culturally and geographically isolated town, the life of the community was based on production of the Vanguard class Trident missile-carrying submarine, with two thirds of the town employed by the shipyard and defence industries.

Shipyard Tales was a cycle of contemporary miracle plays written and created with local people that examined the nature and dilemma of labour at the end of the industrial era. The shows ranged from two Barra boys in Benidorm to Lord Dynamite, an opera based on the life of Alfred Nobel who invented dynamite, which he thought was the ultimate weapon to end war.

Performers were mostly locals who had never been on stage before.

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