Bedford hosts gripping European drama

Clem Beckett, one of the people who influenced the show

Clem Beckett, one of the people who influenced the show

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A world premiere marking the 80th anniversary of the Spanish Civil War begins its UK tour in Bedford.

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. Their heroic struggle alerted 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 two and a half thousand from Britain and Ireland.

Compelling and humorous, 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 stirring song, poetry and compelling movement and dance, Dare Devil Rides To Jarama aims to captures the raw passions and emotions of the time.

It can be seen at The Place in Bedford on Saturday September 24. To book visit www.theplacebedford.org.uk or call 01234 354321.