Friday, 29 March 2013

The Pitmen Painters (theatre)

photo by Keith Pattinson
You might have a sense of deja-vu at seeing the title, The Pitmen Painters, as this is another play which is returning to Eastbourne for a second visit. I'm quite pleased about this though as I missed it the first time around. Presented by Bill Kenwright, The Pitmen Painters is a National Theatre and Live Theatre Newcastle co-production directed by Max Roberts.

The play is a humorous exploration of the lives of a group of ordinary men who began to do extraordinary things. It examines the roles of art, class and politics in the 1940s and was written by Lee Hall, who also wrote Billy Elliot. Hall was inspired by a book by William Feaver. The cast includes Joe Caffrey, Suzy Cooper, Philip Correia, Catherine Dryden, Louis Hilyer, Riley Jones, Nicholas Lumley and Donald Mcbride.

In 1934, a group of Ashington miners hired a professor to teach an art appreciation evening class. Rapidly abandoning theory in favour of practice, the pitmen began to paint. Within a few years the most avant-garde artists became their friends and their work was acquired by prestigious collections; but every day they worked, as before, down the mine.

Devonshire Park Theatre, Mon 29th Apr to Sat 4th May, 19:45.
Wed and Sat matinees, 14:30.
Tickets various prices, available online, by calling 01323 412000 or in person at the Box Office and the Tourist Information Office.

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