VIDEO REVIEW: Man Engine wows thousands as mining heritage is resurrected in South Yorkshire

Promoted by Barnsley Museums

Sparks, flames and fireworks brought the mighty Man Engine back to life in a breathtaking spectacle.

But The Resurrection Tour is much more than a visual treat to showcase an incredible feat of engineering, with all eyes on the UK's biggest mechanical puppet - a huge 36ft tall and 40 tonnes robotic miner.

VIDEO: Watch more video highlights including chats with Will Coleman, John Tanner and a special poem, called Here Comes The Engine, read by Bard of Barnsley Ian McMillan - CLICK HERE.

This finely choreographed production, with 20 puppeteers dressed in orange miner boiler suits, heaving and pulling on steel cables, was as much about resurrecting and celebrating mining heritage.

All the more poignant to be re-told on hallowed ground in South Yorkshire.

Next month marks the 180th anniversary of the Huskar mining disaster when 26 children died working underground in Silkstone Common.

There wasn't a dry eye in the crowd when names of the dead were read out this weekend jut a few miles down the road during two sold out performances as The Man Engine awoke at Elsecar Heritage Centre and Wentworth Woodhouse.

Yet this was also a fiery celebration of community spirit, a jaw-dropping, unique theatre production which wowed and bridged generations.

Good news for those who couldn't get a ticket for its first visit to Yorkshire - The Man Engine, like the Terminator, will be back. But you will have to wait until it's toured the mining regions of Europe, revealed creator Will Coleman.

He said: "Our ambition is to be back. They've been turning people away all day and that is sad, so let's make it happen. It won't be for another year or two, so we have got our eyes on 2020.

The mighty Man Engine comes to life with the help of 20 puppeteers

The mighty Man Engine comes to life with the help of 20 puppeteers

"It will be having a little lie down after the end of this tour but we've had quite a lot of interest across Europe and there are some amazing mining sites on Belgium, Netherlands, Germany and Poland.

"The Man Engine was created in 2016 for the 10th anniversary of the Cornish Mining World Heritage Site, celebrating 4,000 years of Cornish mining. They wanted a big idea and we gave them a fairly large one. He stand at 11.2m tall and weighs in at just under 40 tonnes - the largest mechanical puppet ever constructed in Britain.

"We always wanted people to be pulling those ropes because it seemed important to us, rather than sitting in a cab, pressing a button ,that you see the sweat and you'll see the endeavour and actually you end up with a choreographed piece of these people heaving and hauling to make him work.

"We also wanted to take him on tour and follow the footsteps of the Cornish miners, who we call Cousin Jacks - those who left Cornwall for the entire globe. They went to South Australia, South America, Africa...and some of them came to Yorkshire. So it was important to come here.

The Man Engine wowed thousands of families in South Yorkshire

The Man Engine wowed thousands of families in South Yorkshire

"We tell a particular story of a child miner and we have his journal - at nine years old he started work and he had to climb ladders for two hours to go 1,642ft underground. That' a Cornish story but then we have the story of Huskar children who drowned underground - stories of tragedy and the triumph are found wherever we find a mining past.

John Tanner, Project manger at Elsecar Heritage Centre, said: "This is the first time that it has been to the North and to Yorkshire. How appropriate we are right here on as Elsecar was the industrial model village for Wentworth Woodhouse. What an atmosphere we had, absolutely astonishing.

"We were excited to welcome them here to celebrate our mining heritage and everything else that has happened here."

The events have been funded by Great Place Wentworth and Elsecar - a three-year partnership between Barnsley Council, Rotherham Council and the Wentworth Woodhouse Preservation Trust, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and Arts Council England.

Coun Roy Miller, Barnsley Council’s Cabinet Spokesperson for Place, said: “Mining was the backbone of Elsecar and Wentworth and an intrinsic part of their histories. So, it’s fitting that Man Engine should visit both of these great places in what was a truly unmissable weekend.

Coun Sarah Allen, Rotherham Council’s Cabinet Member for Cleaner, Greener Communities, said: “It’s a really exciting summer of events in Wentworth, with the Tour de Yorkshire, the Wentworth Music Festival and now the Man Engine!

Here Comes The Engine...Bard of Barnsley Ian McMillan delivers his poem written to mark the visit of The Man Engine

Here Comes The Engine...Bard of Barnsley Ian McMillan delivers his poem written to mark the visit of The Man Engine

The arrival of Man Engine at Elsecar Heritage Centre kicked off Experience Barnsley Festival, a week-long celebration of the town’s past, present and future, organised by Barnsley Museums, with events taking place from 23 to 30 June. For more information visit http://www.barnsley-museums.com

READ MORE: Experience Barnsley Festival 2018 celebrates town's past, present and future with week of special events
FREE E-GUIDE: For a full list of all events, with links to the borough's five free entry museums and special attractions, check out the page turning e-guide on your mobile, tablet, laptop or desktop - CLICK HERE.

I'll be back...The Man Engine creator Will Coleman says plans are to return to Yorkshire in 2020

I'll be back...The Man Engine creator Will Coleman says plans are to return to Yorkshire in 2020