FRESH from their success with The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists at the Bussey Building in Peckham, Townsend Productions is back with a new show We Will Be Free.
Set in 1834, it follows the extraordinary true story of George and Betsy Loveless.
George was a Methodist preacher and the leader of the six Dorsetshire farm labourers who were tried, convicted and condemned to harsh transportation by the Government for having the temerity to swear a secret oath and form a union to fight against a succession of wage cuts inflicted by the local landowner.
The piece has been written by Neil Gore, who starred in the Ragged Trousers and who will take the part of George.
He said: "It's a vitally important piece of theatre in the same vein as Ragged Trousers - in fact it was that production which inspired me to write this one.
"It's a focus on another aspect of labour history and it's a story that needs telling and re-telling.
"George was a methodist lay minister and self educated - he taught himself to read and write which was amazing in those days.
"I knew about the story before I wrote the play but not about all the detail so it's been fascinating to research it. I hope we can do these incredible people justice with the story because it must have been an overwhelming time for them.
"But it chimes with what is happening in terms of people having to work longer hours for less money.
"It's an extraordinary tale of determination and courage and that drives the story.
"And I'm so pleased we will be bringing it to the Bussey Building again as part of the tour because it's the most amazing space, incredibly creative and really fits in with the piece.
Neil will be joined by Elizabeth Eves to tell the story but music is an integral part of the production and will feature songs and hymns from the highly acclaimed folk singer and squeezebox player, John Kirkpatrick as well as puppetry and a backdrop of cartoon animations.
We Will Be Free takes place at the Bussey Building on November 29 and 30 at 7.30pm. Tickets cost £10 (£8 concessions and £5 unwaged). Call the Box Office on 020 7732 5275 or online at www.clfartcafe.org