Powerful drama about post-war mining family coming to The Civic
Play by Ray Castleton about mining family to show in Barnsley.
Yorkshire based theatre company present powerful drama about a post-war mining family.
Ray Castleton’s powerful and engaging story of a post-war Yorkshire mining family, coming to terms with their changing world and a new Britain is coming to The Civic, Barnsley.
“ex-mining villages of Yorkshire have the chance to re-visit their past.” The Reviews Hub
On Behalf Of The People is the second full-scale production by Yorkshire theatre company The Melting Shop: co-founded by playwright and performer Ray Castleton (Chicken Soup, Sheffield Theatres), and producer and actor David Chafer (national tour of The Damned United, Red Ladder Theatre Company).
Written by Sheffield-born Ray Castleton, this powerful play reveals the struggle that affected millions from mining communities in the face of enormous political and social change, in a family drama filled with warmth, humour and realism.
Set in a Yorkshire mining town, it follows George Mason, his wife Connie, their son - returning solider Tom - and Tom’s fiancée Liz; from the immediate aftermath of the war to Coronation year, 1953. Tom Mason returns from the war to the arms of his grateful mother and fiancée – and to the bosom of the pit. George fights his own battles and an election. Connie mourns, loves and unites as Liz sees a new world brim-full of opportunity. In a new Britain, will their hopes and dreams be reconciled?
Playwright Ray Castleton says: “On Behalf of the People 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 confirms that this story touches people with its authenticity and honesty.”
The Melting Shop’s powerful new play sheds light on how communities 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. It was originally commissioned by the National Coal Mining Museum as part of its programme of activities marking 70 years since the nationalisation of the UK coal mining industry.
Last year it premiered to great acclaim at the National Coal Mining Museum and a short and highly successful run of community venues across Yorkshire and Derbyshire followed. The production now embarks on its first major tour, making 34 performances across 28 venues spanning regional theatres, community venues and ex-mining villages across Yorkshire, Derby and Derbyshire, including a stop in Barnsley.
On Behalf Of The People is directed by Charlie Kenber, former Resident Assistant Director at Sheffield Theatres. The cast includes Sheffield-based actor Ray Ashcroft (George Mason) best known for his long-running TV role in The Bill; Kate Wood (Connie) a well-known theatre performer with credits including a national tour of The Full Monty and Brassed Off at Derby Playhouse. Tom is played by Rotherham actor Danny Mellor whose work includes Undermined, his one-man play about the miner’s strike, and Blister in association with Paines Plough. Doncaster’s Lizzie Frain plays Liz, her credits include Mike Leigh’s forthcoming film Peterloo.
Tickets are £12, £10 concession and £8 child.