WE Are the Lions, Mr Manager – a new play by Townsend Productions - comes to Dorchester this week.

The play relives the extraordinary true story of the Grunwick Strike, a dispute that challenged the way women and immigrants are treated in the workplace, and Jayaben Desai’s fight for union recognition and equality.

This year is the 40th year since the Grunwick Strick of 1976-78

Jayaben’s fight for equality and human dignity will be on the stage at Dorchester Arts on Friday, 16 February at 8pm.

As pertinent today as it was then, Jayaben's story is being brought to life for the very first time by Townsend Theatre Productions as they relive the extraordinary true story of the strike.

On August 20 1976 a group of workers in a film processing factory in Willesden walked out in protest at their unfair working conditions, low pay and the 'bullying tactics' used by management.

But the story of the Grunwick dispute is not just a story about ground-breaking solidarity. It is also the story of a remarkable woman, Jayaben Desai. The four foot ten inches tall, mother-of-two defiantly led the first walk-out in protest against the humiliation she and other women employees felt at the Grunwick factory.

As she left, the manager shouted at Jayaben and her colleagues to “stop chattering like monkeys in a zoo", and Jayaben replied: "What you are running here is not a factory, it is a zoo. But in a zoo there are many types of animals. Some are monkeys who dance on your finger-tips, others are lions."

This will be writer Neil Gore’s fifth time in Dorchester, having welcomed great crowds for The Ragged Trousered Philanthopist, We Will Be Free and United We Stand

He said: “In our work we aim to focus on the lives and contributions of inspirational and vital figures from our social history, often forgotten, who campaigned vigorously to improve the quality of life for everyone. Jayaben Desai is one such figure. She tirelessly fought on behalf of immigrant workers against exploitative employment practice. Her resolve and courage should be remembered and celebrated. Grunwick raised many wide-ranging themes that still resonate and are relevant today.”

Contact Dorchester Arts for tickets.