Wey, me an wor lass went doon the toon last neet (no, not th Toon, just Oxfad). Mind, ah still had to leave off me hat an me ganzhi as it wasn’t cad. Anyways, we went to see that play aboot the minas in the North East, wot wor Alan Plater wrote. It’s an aad play, mind, from the swingin sixties, but that young lad, Lee Hall, y’ knaa him wot wrote aboot Billy Elliot from Easington, has added sum new bits to bring it reet oop t’date, like. It’s canny, but. Aah thought aal them actors played great parts. Ye buggar, there was even one lad fr’ Wallsend!
You see them dee all sorts of things as they pretend t’ be the Milburn family fr’ Brokenback pit village, at hyem t’ celebrate a Golden Weddin. There’s broon ale, and the brilliant set revolves. They sing songs by Alex Glasgow an tell yarns an daft jokes aboot the aad days o’ minin. They imitated Harold Wilson, him wi that pipe an that daft mac, and we did laff. Well but it’s aal aboot what happnd t’ the coal mines over the years, how th’ got shut doon and aal wi strikes, an all the minas has nowt t’eat, an it was reet bad f’the bairns. It gans fr’ the strike o’1831 reet up to the holy grail o’ nationalisation and a bit beyond.
Rough translation: my partner and I went to see an updated version of Alan Plater’s play Close the Coalhouse Door at the Playhouse last night. It was warm enough to dispense with my hat and jumper. This play, written in 1968, is about miners in the North East, and it is by Alan Plater and updated by Lee Hall, who wrote Billy Elliot.
There’s a good cast, one of whom hails from Wallsend. They play the Milburn family, at home celebrating a Golden Wedding, telling each other stories of the old days of the struggle of miners to achieve the nationalisation of the coal mines, and singing fine songs by Alex Glasgow. It’s a jolly good show and warmly recommended.
Phil Bloomfield (DI Reviewer), 20/06/12
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