UCL Festival of Culture


Black Shirts, the 18b Testimony of Flora Poole, Spinner

Saturday 10 June | 17:30-20:00 | Institute of Advanced Studies, Common Ground, Wilkins Building

Free event

“Silk pyjamas. That’s what this feels like to me, Charlie. Something likes of you and me were never meant to have. Look at this place! But here we are”.

UCL Urban Laboratory presents a rehearsed reading of a new play by award-winning playwright Nicola Baldwin, followed by a panel discussion and reception. Inspired by testimony of women detained under emergency regulations during the Second World War, Black Shirts explores the participation of women and young people in 1930s far-right politics. Unemployed cotton spinner Flora Poole comes to London seeking a better life. Frustrated by low wages, job insecurity and high rents, she finds an outlet for her anger in Oswald Mosley's Blackshirts, joining the British Union of Fascists youth section on their crusade towards the ‘Greater Britain’ and the battle of Cable Street.

Nicola Baldwin (UCL English, 1982) won the George Devine award for her first play Confetti and has subsequently been commissioned or produced by Royal Court, Manchester Royal Exchange, Sheffield Crucible, Bath Theatre Royal and BBC Radio Drama. She is Research Fellow at the Royal Literary Fund.

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