Institute of Advanced Studies (IAS)


We The Young Strong

24 October 2019, 7:00 pm–9:30 pm

Elizabeth Wells as Flora

UCL Urban Laboratory and the Bloomsbury Theatre host a new drama by award-winning playwright Nicola Baldwin and director Cat Robey set in 1930’s East End London that considers the participation of women and young people in far-right politics.

Event Information

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Bloomsbury Theatre


Bloomsbury Theatre
15 Gordon Street
United Kingdom

We The Young Strong is a bold new drama tackling far-right radicalisation, by writer Nicola Baldwin and director Cat Robey, presented by UCL Urban Laboratory and the Bloomsbury Theatre. Inspired by archive testimony of young women detained under emergency regulations during the Second World War, it shines a light on 1930s Britain; political division, austerity, economic marginalisation, extremist radicalisation, street violence and fake news.

Flora, Eva, Violet, Charlie and George – unemployed, troubled, kicked out of school. Years of austerity following a banking crash they can barely remember has crushed their hopes. They join a new political movement, which promises to train them, pay them, empower them: the British Union of Fascists. The Blackshirts insist the future belongs to those willing to fight for it. But what if this means fighting each other?

The performance will be followed by a panel discussion chaired by Aditya Chakrabortty, Guardian columnist and senior economics commentator, with Julie Gottlieb, Professor in Modern History at The University of Sheffield whose research includes 20th Century British Political History, women’s history, and British fascism.

Creative team: Nicola Baldwin, Cat Robey, Gabriel Finn, Junior XL, Abi Bown
Begun at National Theatre Studio in 2009, supported by Peggy Ramsay Foundation, East 15, Criterion New Writing, Women@RADA, UCL Urban Lab, The Lowry, Manchester Jewish Museum, Working Class Movement Library and Arts Council England, the final draft has been specially created for this performance.

Nicola Baldwin is a 2019-2020 UCL Creative Fellow at UCL Urban Laboratory, and a 2019 MGCfutures bursary recipient. Cat Robey is Carne Deputy Director of Jermyn Street Theatre.

This event is part UCL Performance Lab, a programme of art and cutting-edge research, and Bartlett 100, celebrating 100 years of UCL’s Faculty of the Built Environment.

Quotes from participants in R&D workshop:
“Unveiling a part of my country’s history that has been taken out of our history books... To move forward we must acknowledge our past, otherwise we repeat ourselves.” “It’s important to see how manipulative and dangerous political parties can be for young vulnerable people looking for change and when thinking back to the naïve 16-year-old I was; I think about the decisions I would’ve made in their position”.
“Extremely relevant to everyone because it reflects so much if what we are all currently going through”.

See our trailer here.
Twitter @WeTheYoungStro1



Limited £5 tickets for UCL students