On Behalf of the People

‘On Behalf of The People’


Friday 7th July     7.30pm
Saturday 8th July 2pm matinee & 7.30pm
Sunday 9th July   2pm matinee

A new play by Ray Castleton commissioned by the National Coal Mining Museum as part of our #Nationalisation70 commemorations.

'On Behalf of the People' is a rich, engaging story of a post-war mining family coming to terms with their rapidly changing world and lives. We follow miner George Mason and his wife Connie, parents to their returning solider son Tom, and his fiancée Liz, from the immediate aftermath of the war through the enormous social and political changes over the next few years which has a direct effect on them, their relationships and community.

The play, written by Ray Castleton, is based on his extensive research using the Museum library along the way and on the true stories of those who lived through the period. Through the Mason family ‘On Behalf of The People’ reveals how millions of people in mining communities in this country 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. The play is laced with dry, northern humour and a sense of realism.

'On Behalf of The People' will tour venues across Yorkshire and Derbyshire during July. Performances will be staged in a mix of spaces including the National Coal Mining Museum, Wakefield, village halls, social clubs, community centres and some established theatre venues.

The play has been commissioned by the National Coal Mining Museum as part of its exhibition and activities marking 70 years since the nationalisation of the UK coal mining industry in 1947.

Speaking about writing and researching the play, Ray Castleton said: “When I was asked to write a play about the nationalisation of the mining industry I knew it had to be about the people not the politics. To understand our history, it’s best to reveal it through the eyes and lives of those it affected the most – the workers and their families. Some of the content of the play is based on my own family’s true stories and also those of former miners who lived through the period and their sons and daughters.”

Commenting on the commission, Museum Director Mike Benson, said: “We are delighted to team up with The Melting Shop and Ray Castleton to produce a new piece of theatre which helps to tell the story of the human impact of the nationalisation of the mining industry on the lives of those it affected the most – the miners and their families. This play is part of our wider activity to engage with arts companies to perform their work at the museum and beyond to tell stories that connect us to our industrial past and future.”

'On Behalf of The People' is directed by Charlie Kenber, Resident Assistant Director at Crucible Studio, Sheffield. 
The cast includes Sheffield-based actors Ray Ashcroft as George, who many will remember from his TV role in The Bill, and Kate Wood a well-known theatre performer with credits including a national tour of The Full Monty and Brassed Off at Derby Playhouse. Tom will be played by Adam Horvath from Derby and Doncaster’s Lizzie Frain will play Liz.

Each performance lasts around two hours.
Refreshments will be available to purchase on arrival and during the interval.
Performances take place in the Caphouse Conference Suite.

How much is it and how do I book?

Adult (16+) £5.00
Children (guidance age 12+) £5.00
£1.50 Booking Fee if you require tickets posting out.
Otherwise please collect from reception.

Book your places now on 01924 848806.
Book online by clicking this link.

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