The reviews are in!
As the story of the UCS work-in is told through the eyes of two young women approaches, have a read of just some of the wonderful reviews so far.
“The letters UCS, so firmly affirmed in the title, stand for Upper Clyde Shipbuilders. This new musical play by Neil Gore celebrates, in Townsend Productions’ trademark popular theatre style, the UCS Work-in of 1971-72.
Reacting to the Tory government’s attempt to liquidate US (and bring about mass unemployment), in June 1971, shop stewards took control of the shipyard gates, occupied the yards and declared a work-in. It’s a big story wittily told in word and song and given a vivid, poster-bright presentation, with projections of Soviet-style workers and Tories with faces painted blue, as well as period footage of rallies and speeches. (Ruth Darling’s design; graphics and animations by Scarlett Rickard and Jonny Halifax).
Surprisingly, given that most of the images and interviews of the time centre around men, we are guided through the events by two young girls. This works well dramatically. As Aggie and Eddy find their way into this new, grown-up world, they share their experiences with one another and so lead us both into their personal stories and into the wider political picture. Janie Thomson’s bright, sassy, no-nonsense Aggie discovers, through meetings, the power of words to “light up something inside” she will move from the stack room to become a shop-steward. Eddy (Heather Gourdie) will leave her job as a tracer at the yard to go to art school and, following the death of her asbestos-affected father, will campaign for workers’ compensation. Barely older than their characters, the actors shine under Louise Townsend’ precise direction.
UCS also stands for “Unity Creates Strength”. After a year of the work-in, the government was forced to retreat and to agree terms more favourable to the shipyard workers. That was 50 years ago, but the words sung by Aggie and Eddy and addressed to London-based politicians resonate today: “You live far away and don’t give a pin for the life of a working man.”
Clare Brennan, The Observer
See more reviews and book your tickets below for Yes! Yes! UCS!
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ " It'll leave you wondering, does it get any better!'Ron Simpson
⭐⭐⭐⭐'Yes! Yes! UCS! is real, raw, and riveting'.Amber O' Connell
⭐⭐⭐⭐ ‘The balance between human interest & the bigger picture is well struck, & the show’s themes & motifs certainly remain relevant today’Sara Smith