We’re Not Going Back, Barnsley Civic

Scene from Red Ladder production of We're Not Going Back, touring to Barnsley Civic
Scene from Red Ladder production of We're Not Going Back, touring to Barnsley Civic
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Women’s role at the centre of pit strike drama at theatre

Radical theatre company Red Ladder Theatre Company’s new musical comedy looks at the 1984/85 miners’ strike through the eyes of three headstrong sisters in a South Yorkshire pit village.

The show is written by ex-Chumbawamba guitarist and writer Boff Whalley and directed by Red Ladder’s artistic director Rod Dixon.

Victoria Brazier, Claire Marie Seddon and Stacey Sampson play Olive, Mary and Isabel – hit hard by the Government’s war against the miners and determined to set up a branch of Women Against Pit Closures.

With music, comedy and grit, the three sisters embrace the values of the strike and underline the empowerment, determination and vulnerability those communities were faced with in this war.

Boff Whalley said: “Thirty years ago I was part of a miners’ strike support group in Leeds.

“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 is at the Civic from Thursday to Saturday.

Box office: 01226 327000 or go to Barnsley Civic

The tour of the show also goes to Cast in Doncaster on September 24 and 25.

Box office: 01302 303959 or online at Cast in Doncaster