Chopped Liver and Unions at the Edinburgh Fringe

The world is changed by the women you pushed too far

Sara Wesker was a worker in the rag trade in the London’s East End a century ago. Women did the same job as men but were paid considerably less. Sara was determined to change this, leading her largely Jewish workforce out on strike for better pay and the same conditions as the men. She hated being called ‘fiery’ – “you never hear a man called ‘fiery’”. She was a ‘bloody, difficult woman’ to the employers and ‘bloody useless’ male union officials alike.

Lotte Walker and James Hall. Picture by David Kerr

Lottie Walker, accompanied on a keyboard by James Hall, plays Sara in this one-woman play. Sara recounts with wry humour occasionally breaking into song with pro- labour parodies of hymns and popular songs of the day, her battles with employers, her struggle to persuade her fellow workers to take strike action and win, and the personal toll the struggle put on her own family life.At a time when workers’ hard-won gains from the last century are under attack, this play is a constant reminder to us all that collective action – solidarity –  is the source of workers’ strength and  that only collective united action prevents workers from being picked off one-by-one by ruthless underhand employers. In the words of one of Sara’s songs; the union makes us strong.

Reviewed by David Kerr and reprinted with kind permission of our brothers and sisters at Counter Culture.

  • Venue39 theSpace on the Mile – Space 2
  • 13:10
  •  45 minutes
  • Accessibility: 
  • Suitability: 12+ (Guideline)
  • Group: Out of the Fire
  • Till the 26th August 2023

Leave a Reply