Barnsley performer needs funds to take show on the road

A scene from the dance production Coal
A scene from the dance production Coal
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An award-winning South Yorkshire performer and choreographer is urging people to help his campaign to introduce a new audience to his work.

‘COAL’, based on Gary Clarke’s childhood experiences growing up in Grimethorpe, near Barnsley, highlights the spirit and gritty determination of the Dearne Valley mining communities.

Barnsley choreographer and performer Gary Clarke

Barnsley choreographer and performer Gary Clarke

To tie in with the 30th anniversary of the Miners’ strike, Gary wants to take a whole new version of COAL out on a national tour.

He said: “This new, reinvigorated and challenging production will take COAL to a whole new level and providing a moving and heartfelt tribute to the communities that lost everything in the strike.

“That is the world I grew up in and I still live in and it is a world that has supported me on my journey.

“With this new production of Coal I want to give something back to that community.”

Gary is hoping Crowdfunding, where members of the public come together to fund a project, will help him raise the £2,000 he needs to help create, compose and arrange COAL’s brass score and rehearse a Yorkshire colliery brass band quintet.

Gary will also be interviewing and working with ex-miners to help create content for the show.

A preview of the show is due to be held at Cast in Doncaster on July 3 but if the £2,000 crowdfunding target is not met the national tour may have to be postponed.

Barnsley author Mel Dyke has thrown her support behind Gary’s efforts to showcase his work.

She said: “I applaud his loyalty to that community, respect his creative talents and love his ingenuity in combining modern choreography with traditional Brass Band music.”

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