New Vic takes covers off The Pitmen Painters

Steve Orme

A new production of Lee Hall’s poignant play The Pitmen Painters is to be unveiled at the New Vic, Newcastle-under-Lyme.

Based on a true story, the play tells how coal miners in the Northumberland town of Ashington in the 1930s enrolled on a class hosted by the Workers’ Education Association to study art appreciation. Despite having no formal training, the group went on to produce more than 80 paintings.

The Pitmen Painters became a phenomenon when it was first staged in 2007. This new version is directed by former New Vic artistic director Gwenda Hughes.

The cast features Simon Darwen who was in Glenn Waldron’s The Here and This and Now at the Theatre Royal Plymouth earlier in 2017 as Harry Wilson.

Victoria Gould plays Helen Sutherland, Jim Kitson is George Brown, Catherine Kohl plays Susan Parks and Bart Lambert is Ben Nicholson.

Roger May plays Robert Lyon, David Nellist is Oliver Kilbourn and Simeon Truby plays Jimmy Floyd.

Designer is Lis Evans, James Earls-Davis is sound designer, Daniella Beattie is lighting designer, Mary Howland is vocal coach and Oliver Vibrans is the composer.

The Pitmen Painters runs in the Staffordshire theatre-in-the-round from Friday 15 September until Saturday 7 October.