RIOT, recalls the events of 2 August 1930, the Yemeni and British seamen’s riots in South Shields, but it speaks to the Britain of today. During the disturbances a police officer was stabbed and more than 20 Yemenis were later deported from the country. The play is relevant to today's ethnic tensions and tells an important story about a little-known piece of social history.
Author, Peter Mortimer says "The play tries to understand what caused this riot. The Arabs got blamed for high levels of unemployment at the time and they were the scapegoats."
'An honest, sympathetic, sometimes self-deprecatingly humorous but illuminating book that is deeply relevant to the troubled times we're currently living through' — Shields Gazette
'Touching, thought-provoking and, at times, humorous' — North Tyneside News Guardian
'An astounding piece of work. A genuinely brilliant piece of theatre.' — Newcastle Evening Chronicle
'It is about the cauldron of prejudice, ignorance, generational divide and politics which brewed up into the ingredients for a riot.' — The Journal
Peter Mortimer has lived in the North East for thirty years. He edits Iron Press and directs Cloud Nine Theatre Company. His book Broke Through Britain became a best-seller and his travel book Cool for Qat documented his travels in the Yemen. This is his fifth book for Five Leaves. RIOT is printed in English and “back to front” in Arabic translation by Abdel al Shamery for Arabic bookshops.