Barnsley theatre season remembers strike and war

We Are Not Going Back, part of new season at Barnsley Civic
We Are Not Going Back, part of new season at Barnsley Civic
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Barnsley Civic Theatre is remembering both the 1984 miners’ strike and World War One in its new season, starting in August.

We’re Not Going Back is a hard-hitting musical comedy following the fortunes of three sisters in a pit village who set up a branch of Women Against Pit Closures.

The everyday squabbles of Olive, Mary and Isabel become the background to the strike that forces all three to question their lives, relationships and family ties.

The show promises “humour, song and a six-pack of Babycham!”

We’re Not Going Back has been produced by radical Leeds theatre company Red Ladder, currently facing their own struggles as all their Arts Council funding has been cut. The show runs from September 18 to 20.

The strike is also remembered in three exhibitions.

In Coalfields: A Legacy of The Miners’ Strike, South Yorkshire photographer Andrew Foley examines the changed landscape of mining communities since 1984-85 through contemporary images from the sites of all 44 collieries in the Barnsley, Doncaster and South Yorkshire coalfields that were open immediately prior to the dispute.

Each image is accompanied by information on workforce numbers and coal tonnage before the strike, together with details of the colliery’s fate and future use of the site.

Visitors will also be able to view Mike Figgis’ 2001 documentary about Jeremy Deller’s The Battle of Orgreave, a re-enactment of the confrontation between striking miners and the police.

Coalfields runs from September 6 to November 15.

Another exhibition running from August 27 to September 6 features NUM banners and Pit Profiles: Re-profiled is a thought-provoking exhibition of miners’ portraits and their personal stories.

Inspired by H Andrew Freeth (1912–1986), who travelled through the coalfields drawing portraits of working miners, photographer Anton Want created a modern-day Pit Profile series of portraits and interviews at Kellingley Colliery, North Yorkshire. That runs from September 6 to October 31,

Commemorating a centenary since World War One are musical tale Made in The Great War, about a 1915 violin, Not About Heroes, a play about Great War poets Wilfred Owen and Siegfied Sassoon, and finally Pigeon, an informative treat for the whole family with puppets telling the story of wartime carrier pigeons.

Made in the Great War is on stage on September 26, Pigeon is on November 9 and Not for Heroes is on November 21.

The Civic is also the only Yorkshire venue to host acclaimed touring theatre company Paines Plough and their new project, the Roundabout Festival, running from October 2 to 4.

Featuring Emmerdale actress Sian Reese-Williams, this unique event will showcase local talent and work by some of the country’s leading playwrights, transforming the Assembly Room into a theatre in the round.

The Civic’s Christmas offers are Hansel & Gretel for schools, The Lost Present for families, musical event Richard Durrant Christmas Guitars and A Christmas Carol as told by Jacob Marley for grown-ups.

The new brochure is now available from the venue or visit All the shows are available to book on 01226 327000 or on the website.