Miner’s daughter wins play award

Warsop playwright Beth Steel and the cast of her play Wonderland.
Warsop playwright Beth Steel and the cast of her play Wonderland.

A coal miner’s daughter from Warsop has scooped a top theatre award for her hard-hitting play about the Miner’s Strike.

Beth Steel was presented with the The Charles Wintour Award for Most Promising Playwright for her critically acclaimed second play Wonderland at the London Evening Standard’s Theatre Awards on Sunday night.

The play, which coincided with the 30th anniversary, played to packed houses and won rave reviews at Hampstead Theatre this summer.

Her proud dad David Steel, of Duke Road, Warsop, was a deputy at Welbeck Colliery during the dispute.

He said: “I am just overawed by it all. At the end of the day my daughter is very grounded and level-headed and has never forgotten where she comes from. She is a coal miner’s daughter who has won the highest accolade. I am really pleased.”

Mr Steel said he and his wife planned to celebrate with a meal together.

The awards were presented by comedians Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon, and the ceremony at the London Paladium, saw a host of stage and screen stars walk the red carpet, including David and Victoria Beckham, Gillian Anderson and Sir Ian McKellen.

Earlier this year, Beth, who left Meden Comprehensive School at the age of 16, said: “I have no memory whatsoever of the strike. Before I actually came to write Wonderland, I probably knew less about the dispute than people in Hampstead!

“When I came to write about it, I felt I understood the men who stayed on strike the whole time but I also felt I understood the men who disagreed with the fact that there had been no ballot. This is a 360-degree look at the strike. I wanted to go to Westminster, to go underground, to go to the picket lines.”

Wonderland tells the story of two young men who join the industry before the strike and how the dispute affected them.