South Yorkshire women to join cast of ‘COAL’

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Four women are being given the chance to tread the boards by joining the cast of a South Yorkshire show.

COAL, a dance theatre show created by internationally acclaimed dancer and choreographer Gary Clarke, comes to the Civic, Barnsley, on February 19 and 20..

To mark the 30th anniversary of the end of the 1984/85 mining strike, Gary Clarke is embarking on a 2016 national tour with COAL which takes a nostalgic look on the hard-hitting realities of life in the coalfields.

Gary grew up in Dearne Valley pit village of Grimethorpe and has vivid memories and personal experience of the mining community at the time.

He is looking for women aged 30 and above who also preferably have links to the mining industry to join him.

No stage or dance experience is necessary, although the role involves physical involvement.

The women will join a company of seven high class dancers, a local community cast of women and a live brass colliery band.

They will feature in a small section of the show to play members of the ‘Women Against Pit Closures’ group and perform alongside dance artist TC Howard.

Food and travel allowance will be provided to cover rehearsals as well as two complimentary tickets to the show.

Kelly Leighton, a cleaner from the mining village of Kellingley, one of the team of volunteers taking part in a special preview at Cast in Doncaster last year, said: “It was exciting, exhilarating, emotional, rewarding. The team could not have been more welcoming and understanding and it really did feel we were in it together.

“I feel immensely proud. To anybody with the opportunity of taking part, I would say go for it!”

n Anybody interested should apply to attend a free open workshop at the Civic, Barnsley, on January 28 from 6.30pm to 8.30pm. The workshop is an opportunity to meet Gary Clarke and TC Howard.