Musical based on 25 year school strike set to be streamed online

Strike the musical has been written by Sami Watt and Joshua Smith and it is based on the story of the Burston Strike School.

Strike the musical has been written by Sami Watt and Joshua Smith and it is based on the story of the Burston Strike School. - Credit: Sami Watt

A new musical telling the powerful story of the Norfolk school strike which lasted for 25 years is set to be streamed this weekend. 

Strike the musical has been written by Sami Watt, from Wymondham and Joshua Smith, from Burston, near Diss. 

The musical is based on the story of the Burston Strike School – one of the longest running strikes in Britain’s history - started by one young woman who inspired her classmates and her village to stand up for their teachers and education. 

Strike the musical has been written by Sami Watt and Joshua Smith and it is based on the story of the Burston Strike School.

Strike the musical has been written by Sami Watt and Joshua Smith and it is based on the story of the Burston Strike School. - Credit: Sami Watt

The strike began when teachers at the village's Church of England school, Annie Higdon and her husband, Tom Higdon, were sacked on April 1, 1914, after a dispute with the area's school management committee. 

Following their dismissal, 66 of the school’s 72 pupils had gone on strike, marching around the village waving flags.  


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None of the pupils returned, but instead had lessons on the village green. The strike lasted for 25 years. 

Strike the musical has been written by Sami Watt and Joshua Smith and it is based on the story of the Burston Strike School.

Strike the musical has been written by Sami Watt and Joshua Smith and it is based on the story of the Burston Strike School. - Credit: Sami Watt

Ms Watt said she became fascinated by the local story of the strike while living in Burston and felt it would be an “amazing creative opportunity”.  

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She first approached Mr Smith about writing and producing the story as a musical in 2012, and over lockdown they had the time to finally finish it. 

Mr Smith said: “Burston is such a small village, but it has a lovely community atmosphere and this fascinating history.” 

Ms Watt added: “It’s an inspiring story that documents a fascinating piece of local history, so often forgotten.” 

Strike the musical has been written by Sami Watt and Joshua Smith and it is based on the story of the Burston Strike School.

Strike the musical has been written by Sami Watt and Joshua Smith and it is based on the story of the Burston Strike School. - Credit: Sami Watt

Local professional folk musicians are set to bring the music to life and the cast has been chosen from professional adult performers, plus young people from Performing Arts East. 

“We are lucky to have a bunch of youngsters who are talented, trained and so professional,” added Mr Smith. 

It is hoped to tour Norfolk with the show next year, Covid-restrictions permitting. 

But first the production will be performed and filmed at the Gissing Community Hall. 

Strike the musical has been written by Sami Watt and Joshua Smith and it is based on the story of the Burston Strike School.

Strike the musical has been written by Sami Watt and Joshua Smith and it is based on the story of the Burston Strike School. - Credit: Sami Watt

The musical, funded after a successful bid with the Arts Council, will be live streamed from strikethemusical.co.uk on Sunday, May 23, at 5pm with tickets available from the website. 

More information from Sami Watt at samiwatt@rocketmail.com, tel 07825325100.  

Strike the musical has been written by Sami Watt and Joshua Smith and it is based on the story of the Burston Strike School.

Strike the musical has been written by Sami Watt and Joshua Smith and it is based on the story of the Burston Strike School. - Credit: Sami Watt


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