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The Shadow Factory

The Shadow Factory

By Howard Brenton
Imprint: Nick Hern Books
Paperback : 9781848427396, 112 pages, February 2018


Southampton is home to our only hope of victory: the Spitfire. But, in one of many devastating raids on the town, the Luftwaffe destroy the Woolston Supermarine Spitfire factory. The Government requisitions local businesses to use as shadow factories – but meets resistance. Fred Dimmock won’t give up his family laundry for anyone.

As the Dimmocks, and other families, struggle to keep control of their lives and livelihoods, a story of chaos, courage and community spirit emerges.

Telling the remarkable story of how a city triumphed over adversity, Howard Brenton's play The Shadow Factory opened Southampton’s brand-new theatre, NST City, in 2018, directed by Nuffield Southampton Theatres’ Director Samuel Hodges.


"A bolshy drama… unearths a fascinating piece of local history." —Guardian

"Brenton is a master of portraying major historical episodes on an individual human scale... it’s valuable that a play like this exists." —Financial Times

"Ambitious and absorbing... mixes the intimate with the panoramic." —The Times