Play coming to Doncaster reveals the truths the lives of coal miners

A brand-new theatre production, featuring real stories from former coal miners and their families, is now on tour.
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Up The Road Theatre, a Kent-based theatre company, are touring this month and next, with a brand-new theatre production.

The company were delighted to receive funding from Arts Council England, and the support of the National Coal Mining Museum.

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Beneath the Banner tells the story of Gail, a young woman looking to unearth the truth about her grandad’s life as a coal miner. To help her, she tracks down her grandad’s former

The play is on tomorrowThe play is on tomorrow
The play is on tomorrow

colleague Aubrey, but Aubrey is reluctant to talk. As their story unravels, we meet a host of other characters from the coalfields, including a pit nurse, Coal Queen, pit head baths

attendant and a mine rescue worker.

The play has been informed and inspired by extensive research, including interviews with former miners and their families.

Some of this verbatim material features in the play.

The production is on tour until April 15 and is in Doncaster at Cast tomorrow, Tuesday, March 14.

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Beneath the Banner is written and directed by Nicola Pollard. The Associate Producer is Karen Goddard. Set and Costume Design by Aileen Kelly. The cast are Ellinor Larsson as

Gail and Philip Gill as Aubrey. Both actors also play a range of characters, giving audiences a real sense of the breadth of people connected to the coal mining industry, including the workers, their friends, family and the wider community.

Nicola Pollard, Artistic Director of Up The Road Theatre and Director and Writer of Beneath the Banner, said: “Members of my mum’s family were coal miners in south Wales,

and I grew up in east Kent, where signs of the coal mining past remain. This play is a chance to shine a light on unknown stories from those communities, of the women and children as well as the men who worked at the collieries.

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"Our aim is to take work into areas with little access to live arts, so we’re thrilled to be working with rural touring schemes, who support artists in taking work into the heart of small communities. This production wouldn’t have been possible without their support, or that of Arts Council England. I’m thrilled to have the National Coal Mining Museum as a project partner.”

Katie Cavanagh, Head of Engagement and Curation at the National Coal Mining Museum, said: ‘Working with Up The Road Theatre is a really valuable opportunity for us,

giving us the chance to reach and engage with new communities around England, collect and record stories from individuals in those communities and continue our work to illuminate our coal mining past.

“It’s an ideal way to reach new audiences in a vibrant and exciting way, and with our help and support Up The Road Theatre will create an authentic production, reflecting the camaraderie and challenges of life in the coal mining industry.”

For tickets or for more information visit the website

Tomorrow night’s performance is due to start at 7.45pm at Cast, Doncaster.