Socialist Worker

When Do We Start Fighting?

by Matthew Cookson
Issue No. 2136

When Do We Start Fighting? is a new play that explores the radical movement of the 1960s and 1970s in the US.

It focuses on the Weathermen organisation, a group formed by radical students who were frustrated at the failure of the anti-war movement to end the Vietnam War.

They turned to violently attacking symbols of power.

The Kamachi Plan theatre group has created the play. They are young actors and writers who are dedicated to producing political theatre.

Charlie Shand, the writer and director of the play, and Amanda McLaren, one of the actors and the co-producer of the play, spoke to Socialist Worker.

“When Do We Start Fighting? aims to tell the story of the Weathermen and the injustice of the Vietnam war that spurred them on,” said Charlie. “It also shows the FBI’s counter-intelligence strategy to subvert and destroy the radical left.

“The title of the play demands action, which we still need today. The people who set up the Weathermen gave up everything they had to fight injustice.”

Amanda added, “The Weathermen were really young – and hot-headed and hypocritical in a lot of ways – but they were willing to sacrifice their lives to change society.

“We want to let people watching the play make up their own minds about the Weathermen and what they represented.

“Theatre has become all about entertainment, but we want people to come to this play and talk about it afterwards, even if they hate it.

“We are keen to get as many people from as many backgrounds into the theatre as possible.

“We want politics and theatre to mix, and so are holding discussions about the play and the issues it raises every Wednesday night.”

When Do We Start Fighting?
Written and directed by Charlie Shand
3 February to 1 March

Courtyard Theatre, 40 Pitfield Street
Bowling Green Walk, London N1


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Article information

Tue 27 Jan 2009, 18:47 GMT
Issue No. 2136
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