Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures

School of Performance and Cultural Industries

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New play marks the end of British coal mining

September 11th, 2018

The Last Seam is to receive its first full production on tour at theatres and community venues in the North of England throughout September and October.

The play, written to mark the closure of Hatfield Main, one of the last three surviving deep seam coal mines in the UK, is the result of two years’ research with ex-miners, their families and members of the local community around Hatfield.

The Last Seam, produced by Cast, Doncaster’s professional theatre, with the aid of £47,500 Arts Council England Strategic Touring Grant will open on Wednesday 19 September before touring former mining communities in Yorkshire and the North-East.

Garry Lyons, an established playwright and lecturer in the School of Performance and Cultural Industries, has based his drama on stories he has collected over a five month period from ex-miners, their families and the local community around Hatfield Main.

The play covers the period from the Miners’ Strike of 1984-5 through to the shutting of the mine and the Brexit referendum.

The Last Seam was given its first public reading to a full house at Cast, in early April 2017. The reading was performed by actors from Leeds Playhouse under the direction of the Playhouse’s new associate director, Amy Leach.

Daljinder Singh, Associate Producer at Cast, said:

“The piece really struck a chord with the audience. The nature of the miners’ stories and events that coincided with the Miners’ Strike are obviously of local interest. However, the personal stories and journeys that were depicted through Garry’s writing enabled a wider resonance with audiences across the range of ages and backgrounds.

Garry Lyons leading the post-performance question and answer with the audience

For further information and tickets for the play visit Cast theatre website

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