A revival of Lee Hall’s play “The Pitmen Painters” is set to embark on a new U.K. national tour later this year.
The tour will kick off at the Theatre Royal, Windsor on March 11 for an engagement lasting through March 16. The tour is scheduled to play its final engagement August 19-24 at the Grand Theatre in Swansea. Other cities the tour will visit include Mold, Chesterfield, Bradford, Eastbourne and Guildford.
The play is inspired by a book by William Feaver. Here’s how producers describe the production:
In 1934, a group of Ashington miners hired a professor to teach an art appreciation evening class. Rapidly abandoning theory in favour of practice, the pitmen began to paint. Within a few years the most avant-garde artists became their friends and their work was acquired by prestigious collections; but every day they worked, as before, down the mine. Examining the lives of a group of ordinary men who do extraordinary things, “The Pitmen Painters” is a humorous, deeply moving and timely look at art, class and politics.
The original production was presented in Newcastle at the Live Theatre in 2007, and later traveled to the National Theatre as well as Broadway and West End. Lee Hall is best known as the writer of the film and musical versions of “Billy Elliot.” Other plays he has written include “Cooking with Elvis” and “Spoonface Steinberg.” He also wrote the screenplay for “War Horse” and the 2005 version of “Pride and Prejudice,” which starred Keira Knightly.
The new production will star Joe Caffrey as Harry Wilson, Philip Correia as Oliver Kilbourn and Suzy Cooper as Helen Sutherland. Other cast members will include Louis Hilyer, Nicholas Lumley, Catherine Dryden and Donald McBride.
The tour will be presented by Bill Kenwright Limited, which has been responsible for U.K. productions of “Evita,” “Cabaret,” “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,” “Blood Brothers,” and “Soul Sister.”