England 1837: a country on the cusp of revolution. A young girl is propelled on a journey from a London slum to the servants' quarters of a great house, and from first love to murder. In her flight from authority she comes across the Chartist William Lovett, a man striving to steer a middle course between the brutal coalition of Parliament and Industry and the angry forces gathering against it.
In Jack Shepherd's newly commissioned play, Holding Fire!, hundreds of characters evoke the struggle that took place for 'one man, one vote'. This picaresque tale of tavern assemblies and prize fights, gin-palace communists and bullying do-gooders, brings to the Globe for the first time the sordid, violent times of early Victorian England.