The death of Margaret Thatcher earlier this year stirred up strong emotions in the former mining towns and villages of Mansfield and Ashfield.
The closure of the pits, and the imapact it hadon the communities, is explored in Paul Allen’s play Brassed Off, which is making a return to Mansfield’s Palace Theatre on 4th July following its success in 2011.
The production, by the Mansfield Palace Community Theatre, is set in the fictional town of Grimley in Yorkshire where the colliery is faced with closure.
The miners are being forced into voting to fight to save the pit or take the £23,000 redundancy package - and 1,200 jobs are under threat.
The colliery’s brass band is also fighting for survival and while the pit does eventually close, the band is saved thanks to financial support from the community who help the members to attend the national finals of a competition in London which they win.
Explaining why he had decided to revive the play, director Christopher Neil said: “Out of all the well known plays we could perform as a community theatre in Mansfield, Brassed Off remains a clear favourite.
“While the play or the production could not begin to suggest what the difficulties were for this community in the eighties and nineties, the themes of the play and struggles for the community of Grimley remain poignant and relative to many mining communities who fought for their own survival.
“Actors, audience members who saw it the last time and people who missed it have all requested its return to the Palace stage.”
Meanwhile, the acclaimed Newstead Brass Band, who have themselves played in the national finals at the Albert Hall in London, will be performing their music in this production.
Based at the heart of the Newstead community, the band has built up an enviable reputation despite the demise of the mines.
For your chance to win a pair of tickets to see Brassed Off, see today’s Mansfield and Ashfield Chad.