After Cable Street

On October 4 th 1936, Oswald Mosley and his British Union of Fascists (known as the Blackshirts) attempted to march through the streets of East London. Although the march had permission from the Home Secretary and massive support from the police, the local people (predominantly Jewish at that time) succeeded in turning the provocative march back. This event has gone down in history as the Battle of Cable Street.

Although it couldn’t turn back history in the same way, this event at least alerted British people to what was unfolding in Europe at the time – fascist dictatorships in Italy and Portugal, the beginning of the Spanish Civil War, the rise of Hitler – and the dangers and consequences of nationalism and racial or religious intolerance. Now, after two generations of largely successful European post-war reconstruction, reconciliation, coexistence and social harmony, we seem to be heading that way again.

Remembering Cable Street is more than a nostalgic exercise or routine historical commemoration, therefore – it is something of a wake-up call.

Our week-long programme at the beginning of October, culminating in two spectacular shows (at St John's Church, Bethnal Green and Rich Mix, Shoreditch), embraced the whole spectrum of East London’s cultural communities today as contributors, participants or audiences. Complete programme details can be found here, performance flyer here

We have now developed AFTER CABLE STREET into a powerful one-hour stand-alone show, reflecting on the recent rise in hate crime, xenophobia and racial and religious intolerance. Available until further notice.

Here are dramatic documentary photos from the Battle of 1936, interspersed with images from the famous mural.


Latest News

Huge success of Song of Contagion!

Fantastic audience responses to the recent shows Wilton's Music Hall

New BBC interview

Director Tony Haynes talks to Jimoke Fashola about this week's premiere of Song of Contagion. Skip to 02.52.04 to listen.

Song of Contagion promo video released

Featuring a taste of the music you will hear in our spectacular new show and interviews from the musicians involved

Booking opens for Song of Contagion!

Wilton's Music Hall, June 13th to 17th: tickets now on sale for our spectacular new show

Dates announced for 2017 Summer School

Our fourth annual Summer School runs from July 31st to August 3rd, Goldsmiths College, South London.

Exciting plans unveiled for 2017!

GUO's programme for the new year includes a brand new show at Wilton's Music Hall and a return to Portugal.

Remembering Cable Street

Video of The Beast is Back by Tony Haynes, recorded at the GUO commemoration of the 80th anniversary of the Battle of Cable Street in October

High praise for GUO music education project

Read about Music Untamed at the Fairfield Halls, Croydon, supported by the Mayor's Music Fund

Band Off The Wall

Inspired by the Peace Mural at Dalston Junction, Grand Union has launched a new street band for Hackney

GUO tracks are now available online...

Grand Union CDs and individual numbers can now be streamed from Spotify or bought from iTunes

Full-length DVD of Undream'd Shores

A DVD of the acclaimed Hackney Empire production is now available from the GUO online shop.

Stay In Touch