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Red Ellen

Author(s): Caroline Bird
Company: Royal Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh, Nottingham Playhouse Theatre Company and Northern Stage

Red Ellen

This new play, from Caroline Bird directed by Lyceum Artistic associate Wils Wilson, tells the story of Ellen Wilkinson, Labour MP, who was forever on the right side of history, forever on the wrong side of life.

Caught between revolutionary and parliamentary politics, Ellen fights with an unstoppable, reckless energy for a better world.

Running (quite literally in some cases) into the likes of Albert Einstein and Ernest Hemingway, she battles to save Jewish refugees in Nazi Germany, campaigns for Britain to aid the fight against Franco’s Fascists in Spain and leads 200 workers in the Jarrow Crusade, marching from Newcastle to London to deliver a petition to end unemployment and poverty.

She serves as a vital member of Churchill’s cabinet and has affairs with communist spies and government ministers. But, despite all of this, she still finds herself—somehow—on the outside looking in.

This is the story of Ellen Wilkinson.



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