See strike through sisters’ eyes

Red Ladder Theatre Company's production of We're Not Going Back.
Red Ladder Theatre Company's production of We're Not Going Back.

A new musical promises to show audiences the miners’ strike through the eyes of three sisters.

Red Ladder Theatre Company presents the world premier tour of We’re Not Going Back at Seaton Delaval Arts Centre on Friday, October 10, at 7.30pm.

Written by Boff Whalley, the production looks at the 1984-85 miners’ strike through the eyes of three head-strong pit village sisters.

Written by ex-Chumbawamba guitarist and writer Boff Whalley, and directed by Red Ladder’s artistic director Rod Dixon, We’re Not Going Back is a musical commissioned by the north east, Yorkshire and Humberside regions of Unite the union.

In a play about the 1984-85 industrial action, there are no miners, instead the story follows the fortunes of the three sisters, Olive, Mary and Isabel, who have been hit hard by the government’s war against the miners , but they are determined to set up a branch of ‘Women Against Pit Closures’.

Whalley said: “Thirty years ago I was part of a miners’ strike support group in Leeds. It was a strange time - there was a real sense of ‘taking stock’ of what my politics were.

“For me, the strongest part – the heart – of the miners’ strike was the family support, specifically the women.

“Despite the strike’s outcome, all the hardship and poverty, the main memory of that year for the women was of laughter, fun and surprise, a big adventure.

“How to take on the machinery of the capitalist state; and have a good time doing it. I knew this feeling had to be the underlying belly of the play.”

The show takes place at the Seaton Delaval Arts Centre on Friday, October 10, at 7.30pm.

Tickets priced at £9 are available by calling the box office on (0191) 237 5460 or visiting www.seatondelavalartscentre.com