Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Losing some, winning one

Photo: Harold White Collection

It is in the nature of Festivals like ours that there will always be late changes to the programme originally announced. Sometimes shows get cancelled; sometimes shows are added late on.
See this page for our Fringe updates:
So far, this year, three shows have had to be cancelled: South African Voices; South African Gumboot Dance; and Tomorrow is Your Hope.

On the plus side we are pleased to announce a new show - On Behalf of the People which is presented by The Melting Shop who tell us that:

‘On Behalf of The People’ is a rich, engaging story of a post-war mining family coming to terms with their rapidly changing world and lives, commissioned by the National Coal Mining Museum. We follow miner George Mason and his wife Connie, parents to their returning solider son Tom, and his fiancĂ©e Liz, from the immediate aftermath of the war through the enormous social and political changes over the next few years which has a direct effect on them, their relationships and community.

The play has been created as part of the National Coal Mining Museum’s exhibition and activities marking 70 years since the nationalisation of the UK coal mining industry in 1947, and is a new and unique way of spreading the word of untold coal mining stories. The National Coal Mining Museum seeks to build their reputation by commissioning exclusive arts and culture events which will engage people in the history of coal mining and its stories.

The play, written by Ray Castleton, is based on his extensive research and the true stories of those who lived through the period. Through the Mason family ‘On Behalf of The People’ reveals how millions of people in mining communities in this country were affected by the end of the war, coal nationalisation and the huge period of social change which impacted on their lives, love, hopes and dreams. The play is laced with dry, northern humour and a sense of realism and seeks to keep stories of coal mining alive through all generations.

‘On Behalf of The People’ will tour in venues across Yorkshire and Derbyshire during July. Performances will be staged in a mix of spaces starting at the National Coal Mining Museum, Wakefield on 7th – 9th July and then moving onto a variety of village halls, social clubs, community centres and some established theatre venues.

Speaking about writing and researching the play, Ray Castleton said: “When I was asked to write a play about the nationalisation of the mining industry I knew it had to be about the people not the politics. To understand our history, it’s best to reveal it through the eyes and lives of those it affected the most – the workers and their families. Some of the content of the play is based on my own family’s true stories and also those of former miners who lived through the period and their sons and daughters.”

Commenting on the commission Mike Benson, Museum Director at the National Coal Mining Museum, said: “We are delighted to team up with The Melting Shop and Ray Castleton to produce a new piece of theatre which helps to tell the story of the human impact of the nationalisation of the mining industry on the lives of those it affected the most – the miners and their families. This play is part of our wider activity to engage with arts companies to perform their work at the museum and beyond to tell stories that connect us to our industrial past and future.”
‘On Behalf of The People’ is directed by Charlie Kenber, former resident assistant director, and director at Crucible Studio. The cast includes Sheffield-based actors Ray Ashcroft as George, who many will remember from his TV role in The Bill, and Kate Wood a well-known theatre performer with credits including a national tour of The Full Monty and Brassed Off at Derby Playhouse. Tom will be played by Adam Horvath from Derby and Doncaster’s Lizzie Frain will play Liz.

There is a single performance, at the United Reformed Church on July 19th at 7.30pm.

Buxton Fringe

Website: www.buxtonfringe.org.uk
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