A tale of British bulldog spirit against an authoritarian state

By IW Observer.co.uk Apr 20, 2022

It is Autumn 1940 during the Blitz. The Battle of Britain has reached a crucial point and Brit-ain needs its much-loved Spitfire to have any hope of victory – but the Luftwaffe have dropped more than 2,000 bombs on Southampton and destroyed the Woolston Supermarine Spitfire factory. The machine tools have survived the German bombs, so another base is needed, and the government is determined to find one.

The Shadow Factory is Howard Brenton’s much-lauded play telling the true but little-known story of how Southampton stepped up to save the day, but also a tale about how the govern-ment was prepared to ride roughshod over local residents.

Lord Beaverbrook, minister of aircraft production, plans to evict families from their homes and their businesses and deprive them of their livelihoods. However, Fred Dimmock is not prepared to give up the family laundry to be used as a shadow factory, and takes a stand, re-sisting threats of a prison sentence. His bloody-minded struggle against an all-powerful state, along with the attempts of other families to control their destinies is the fascinating subject of this remarkable play, which makes its Island debut this month. You shouldn’t miss this tale of passion, pathos and fun, which also features music by Rosie Sales.

Trinity Theatre in Cowes will be staging performances from April 21-24 at 7.30pm each evening. You can book tickets on caods.org.uk or call the box office on 295229. Tickets cost £9 each.