Sunday, 1 July 2018

On Behalf Of The People returns to Buxton

On Behalf of the People - The Melting Shop on tour

Some shows at the Buxton Fringe play no where else. Others are touring productions. The most ambitious tour is being undertaken by The Melting Shop with its play On Behalf Of The People. Over 30 performances will have been presented by the end of July with many "Sold Out" notices going up.

The play returns to Buxton for three performances at the Bath Road Church Centre between 7-9 July. On Behalf of The People follows the fortunes of the Mason family coming to terms with life and love in a Yorkshire mining town in post-war Britain: how do George and Connie Mason, their returning soldier son Tom and his fiancée Liz, come to terms with their rapidly changing world?

On Behalf of The People was an original commission by the National Coal Mining Museum as part of its exhibition to mark 70 years since the nationalisation of the coal mining industry. The play premiered at the venue in summer 2017 before embarking on a community venue tour, receiving audience and critical acclaim. (‘Poignant and moving’ Buxton Fringe Review; 4* ReviewsHub) .
 
On Behalf of The People writer and The Melting Shop co-producer Ray Castleton said: “The play is based on extensive research about the people who lived in mining communities just after the war and how the aftermath of the war and the massive change – the election of the post war Labour government, nationalisation, the new health service and the development of social housing – impacted on their lives. I was keen to write a story about real people and how their lives and relationships changed; the audience reaction we received last year confirmed that the story touched people in its authenticity and honesty.” 

Audience reaction to On Behalf of the People has been positive and enthusiastic. and this is what The Stage had to say about it:

"Castleton’s play steadily moves along in just under two hours, full of sequences of gripping domestic conflict and tender moments of stillness as our characters find themselves at the centre of the crucible of change. Beautifully structured and poetically written, with a good handful of Yorkshire grit and stark realism thrown in for good measure, Castleton’s play conjures up an atmospheric play-world that is sensitively informed by careful research into the time period it depicts. Director Charlie Kenber squeezes every last drop of atmosphere and realistic style out of the piece to great effect, providing his audience with a directorial vision that immerses them in the piece, and places them right at the heart of the action.
"The excellent cast also brings the audience closer to the heart of the action and the emotional turmoil their characters undergo, thanks to a sensitive and careful consideration of their portrayals, bringing to life some strong, memorable performances. They uphold the sense of sensitivity and artistic clarity that is woven into the very fabric of Castleton’s play – we get a tangible, respectful nod to the past, and feel as though the real people that formed the heart of Castleton’s research undertaken at the museum are sitting there with us."

If you want to see a play about real people, living real lives, that tells you something about recent British experience then On Behalf of the People is for you. Tickets from Buxton Opera House or on the door.
Buxton Fringe

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