Sir Ian McKellen supports STRIKE! Will you?

Dunnes Stores strikers

From March 8 to 22, Ardent Theatre Company are asking for your help to stage a significant play which highlights Ireland’s contribution to the South African anti-apartheid struggle of the 1980s.

Sir Ian McKellen has awarded Ardent a £25,000 producer’s fund to help them tour their production of STRIKE! around the UK in 2023, culminating in a run in Dublin. But Ardent first need to raise that same amount to unlock that funding, which is why they are asking for your help. You can help them- but only until March 22nd when the appeal closes.

STRIKE!, by Tracy Ryan, tells the incredible true story of a group of 11 young shop workers in Dublin in 1984 who went out on strike to protest against apartheid in South Africa. Their three-year battle with employers Dunnes Stores tested each and every one of them, inspired significant change, and brought them into contact with supporters around the world – people who they never imagined meeting before.

457 days into strike action and on the 19th October 1985 Irish Poet Seamus Heaney joins with Dunnes Stores Workers at an anti apartheid demo. Photo copyright rollingnews.ie

It’s an engrossing and ultimately uplifting story of solidarity and personal sacrifice that is less known outside of Ireland, told with humanity and humour and guts, celebrating young people standing up for what they believe in, against overwhelming odds and yet still persisting. Ryan’s play has been extensively workshopped and developed with the writer herself. Ardent’s commitment to the project is long-standing.

The London run and UK tour of the show will include a number of educational resources and online supporting material to aid future research and historical appreciation of the strikers’ campaign.

Your online gift will be matched by Sir Ian McKellen – he’ll be matching each donation until the target is achieved.

Give £5, the production gets £10. Give £50, it’s doubled to £100. Every donation makes a difference.

Please support this production by donating via the link here.

Please remember the challenge closes on Tuesday 22nd March. Thank You!


“I would like to make a plea to the owners. Here are young people of whom you ought to be proud, because these are people of such integrity. You should be glad that you have people of such calibre working for you. I would like to call on you to hear what they are trying to say.”
— Archbishop Desmond Tutu in 1984