PREVIEW: We’re Not Going Back, Arts Centre Washington

Red Ladder Theatre Company's new musical comedy WE'RE NOT GOING BACK looks at the 1984/85 miners' strike through the eyes of three sisters in a South Yorkshire pit village.��Written by Boff Whalley and directed by Rod Dixon, WE'RE NOT GOING BACK is commissioned by Unite the Union. It tours nationally and is performed by Victoria Brazier (blonde) as Olive, Claire Marie Seddon (dark hair) as Isabel and and Stacey Sampson (red hair) as Mary.
Red Ladder Theatre Company's new musical comedy WE'RE NOT GOING BACK looks at the 1984/85 miners' strike through the eyes of three sisters in a South Yorkshire pit village.��Written by Boff Whalley and directed by Rod Dixon, WE'RE NOT GOING BACK is commissioned by Unite the Union. It tours nationally and is performed by Victoria Brazier (blonde) as Olive, Claire Marie Seddon (dark hair) as Isabel and and Stacey Sampson (red hair) as Mary.
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THE Miners’ Strike is remembered in We’re Not Going Back, a new musical comedy commemorating the 30-year anniversary of the 1984/85 dispute.

As part of the Sunderland Stages programme, the play will be performed at Royalty Theatre tonight and Arts Centre Washington tomorrow.

Written by Chumbawamba co-founder Boff Whalley, this new production tells the story of three sisters in a pit village, hit hard by the Government’s war against the miners and determined to set up a branch of Women Against Pit Closures.

Olive, Mary and Isabel could not be less alike. Leading separate lives, with separate interests, it seems only genetics could tie these three women together.

But, with the declaration of strike against a Government hell-bent on destruction, their everyday squabbles became a background hum to the strike that forced them to question their lives, their relationships and their family ties.

This strike wasn’t just a battle fought out between pickets, police, politicians and public opinion. It was as much a battle in the homes and families of those fighting for their communities.

To coincide with the performances, the ’Cotia Banner is being displayed in the Theatre at Art Centre Washington before being given a permanent home in the centre.

The ’Cotia Banner was made in 2003 to celebrate the Washington pit which was famous as the strongest bastion of the coalfield song tradition.

The banner features the portraits of two former ‘Cotia pitmen, John Elliott and Jock Purdon, who were both immersed in the culture of the Great Northern Coalfied, and wrote many songs.

•Tickets are £8.50 / £6 (conc). To book, visit www.artscentrewashington.co.uk or Tel. 219 3455.