Spanish Civil War inspires powerful play

David Heywood plays Clem 'Dare Devil' Beckett. Picture: Richard Marsham

David Heywood plays Clem 'Dare Devil' Beckett. Picture: Richard Marsham

Song, poetry, movement and dance combine to bring the passions and emotions of the Spanish Civil War to the stage in Luton this week.

Dare Devil Rides to Jarama is based on the experiences of The International Brigades during the war and also looks at the powerful political and economic forces that engulfed Europe in the 1930s.

The play also looks at why so many ordinary people made the extraordinary choice to leave family and livelihoods and fight in a brutal war so far from home.

When Spaniards rose up to resist General Franco’s military rebellion in 1936, it was an inspiration to millions of people worldwide, with their struggle alerting the rest of the world to the threat of fascism. Dare Devil Rides To Jarama commemorates and celebrates the contribution and sacrifice of the Volunteer International Brigades, including 2,500 from Britain and Ireland.

Dare Devil Rides To Jarama focuses on the contrasting lives of Clem Beckett, a Lancashire blacksmith and famous star of the speedway track, and Christopher Caudwell, a renowned writer, poet and philosopher.

Both men were killed together at Jarama in February 1937, having become friends 
as members of the British battalion’s machine-gun company.

Through song, poetry, movement and dance, Dare Devil Rides To Jarama aims to capture the raw passions and emotions of the time.

The play will be staged at the Hat Factory on Friday, December 2, at 7.30pm.

Tickets cost £10 or £8 for concessions. Call 01582 878100 or visit www.lutonculture.com to book or for more information.