The play takes place on July 3rd, 1981, the night of the riot in Southall.
Skinheads emerged in the late 1960's in the UK as a youth movement in reaction to the hippie culture at the time. Skins have historically been working-class kids who had a sense of fraternity and their own unique style.
One of the main influences on the Skins was Jamaican Ska music. This simple fact should wave a red flag in the face of those quick to label all Skinheads as racists, yet the preconception lives on.
Despite the very successful 2-Tone revival, which had the support of the entire nation including Skinheads, prejudice based on stereotypes lives on. The charts were filled with the music of Madness, The Selector and The Specials.
Some claim that the Skinheads adoption of Jamaican music, rather than creation of their own musical genre, killed the culture but it was a short lived musical style that was unique to the plight of the working-class in England in the late 70's and early 80's.
Its goal was to bring Skinheads and punk rock kids together; that music was Oi!
Oi! music has been called "Punk's stunted idiot half-brother, musically primitive and politically unsavoury".
Quotes such as this and inflammatory articles in the Daily Mail, combined with the riots at Sham 69's concert and the 4 Skins concert in Hambrough Tavern in Southall on July 3rd 1981, resulted in Oi!'s short lifespan.
The public was not ready to accept a genre of music which had support from the National Front regardless of it lyrical content and the roots of its musical structure and instrumentation.
The N.F. was attracted to the followers of Oi!; violent Skinheads (not all were) and football hooligans were an easy target for assimilation. As with all things Skinhead, Oi! has in fact lived on in different forms such as street punk in the UK and the United States.
This piece takes place on what could be the most publicized turning point in the culture of both Oi! music and the Skinheads, on a night that sealed their fates as far as the public eye were concerned.
DIRECTOR Sean Dupont
ASSISTANT DIRECTOR Carleigh-Ann Portelli
ORIGINAL CAST Rebecca Briley John Andrew Cunningham Alexander Holloway Dave Hyett Carleigh-Ann Portelli Claire Louise Portelli Mark R. Scopes
TOURING CAST Rebecca Briley Alexander Holloway Dave Hyett Alex Payne Carleigh-Ann Portelli Claire Louise Portelli Mark R. Scopes