Wednesday evening had an artistic twist last night. Naomi, Mark, Adam, Jack, Dave and I headed to the Oldham Coliseum for a Webbie night out. Northerner Lee Hall, who is best known for twinkle-toes Billy Elliot, also wrote The Pitmen Painters, which had us in stitches!
The production is a heart-warming true story of a group of miners from the Ashington Colliery, so there was a bit of Geordie humour in there. Wey aye, man!
Set in the year of 1934, determined to better themselves, the miners hired a professor to teach an art appreciation evening class. When the ‘posh’ academic arrived he encouraged them to create art by drawing on the life of their community, so they painted outstanding and inspiring pieces of art, exposing their inner selves. The paintings had several keen admirers, which could have lead them into a world of luxury, but they continued to work down the mine.
The remarkable play provides a fascinating debate about art and socialism, making you ponder the true meaning of art, with each piece telling a story.
The rest of the Webbie group and I had different impressions on the overall performance, but we were all very entertained! The Pitmen Painters is highly amusing, deeply moving and nostalgic, following the lives of a group of ordinary men who do extraordinary things.
I would definitely recommend this play to every Tom, Dick and Harry!