During the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent lock down and restrictions, theatres and community venues were closed down and access severely restricted which meant that performances of any kind were cancelled or postponed. As a result, many theatres and companies turned to sharing their work and creating new projects for their audience through online platforms. It turned out for many to be an unexpectedly exciting and productive time as well, and a way of presenting or complementing future theatre work when the world returns to something near normal. This page is devoted to the work that Townsend Theatre Productions created over the period of lockdown, and any subsequent projects.

NEW FILM SOS Save Our Shipyard - The Story of Appledore

10 Apr 2021

"S.O.S. - Save Our Shipyard: the Story of Appledore Shipyard" is a snapshot of a recent campaign to save the shipyard in north Devon from closure. Townsend Theatre Productions joined forces with Reel News to meet and interview former and current shipyard workers from the yard, to talk about the history of the yard and its relationship with the communities of Appledore village and the nearby town of Bideford; about the impact of closure upon the workforce, the loss of vital industrial skills and how the local economy might be affected. The film follows their campaign from the time that closure was announced in 2018 to the point in early 2021, when new owners, Infrastructure, started vital maintenance work, towards the eventual aim of taking orders and imminent re-opening.

During the time the company also met former and current shipyard workers from Clydebank and Govan on the Clyde, as well as Belfast and Sunderland. Out of these meetings and interviews the company released a film about working in the shipyards of the Clyde in the 1970s and about the U.C.S. "Work-In". That film is called, "There's More To Building Ships".

This is part of a larger development project towards a new theatre production about the Upper Clyde Shipbuilders' "Work-In" of 1971/2, entitled "Yes! Yes! UCS!" that will tour the UK in Spring 2022. 

Grateful thanks to everyone who participated in the project, to those that have promoted the project and to Arts Council England for funding the research and development phase.


by Neil Gore

Nearly forty-five years ago a group of workers in a backstreet Willesden factory stood up to their unfair bosses and kick-started one of the longest and most important industrial disputes in British history. Led by Asian women, the Grunwick strike challenged stereotypes, changed the face of traditionally white, male trade unions, and inspired thousands to speak out against injustice.
The whole film is available upon request for a small fee.

Wandsworth 2 WEB

Dare Devil Rides To Jarama

by Neil Gore (Audio 'Radio' Play)

In 1936, speedway super-star Clem "Dare Devil" Beckett joined others to fight with the Spanish people to defend democracy against Franco's fascist armies. Commissioned by the International Brigades Memorial Trust, this play was part of the 80th Anniversary commemorations of the Spanish Civil War.

Please Click the link to buy (first episode is FREE)  (30 minutes each episode)

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NEW SHORT FILM There's More To Building Ships (12 Minutes)

A short introductory film by Townsend Theatre Productions and Reel News to celebrate to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the UCS Work-In, 1971-72. With recent interviews from our research and development project with 'Work-In' veterans and former shipyard workers.

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The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists

Digital film of Neil Gore's one person show.

Townsend Theatre Productions' "The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists", based on Robert Tressell's 1914 novel, is a classic representation of the impoverished and politically powerless underclass of British society in Edwardian England
reimagined as a one-man magic lantern show using lantern & projected animation; it is
compelling, humorous and clear in its modern-day relevance - economic climate, job security, workplace scenarios party politics and the class system.

The whole film will be available upon request for a small fee.

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