Play recalls the lives of region’s pitmen

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A CLASSIC musical play charting the region’s mining history will visit Durham City as part of a memorial tour.

Close the Coalhouse Door, which chronicles the major strikes, victories and disappointments of the mining industry from its earliest days, is at the Gala Theatre from June 12 to 16.

First performed in Newcastle in the late 1960s, the production has been revived by Northern Stage and Live Theatre for a tour in memory of its writer Alan Plater, who died in 2010.

The new version has an updated ending, courtesy of Billy Elliott writer Lee Hall, and is directed by Samuel West.

He said: “Coalhouse is set at a golden wedding so, of course, it’s a party to honour 50 years of love and family life.

“But it’s also a celebration of community – of North East miners and the stories and songs that inspired them and that commemorate their lives and losses, their victories and struggles.

For tickets or information, go to the theatre box office, call 332 4041 or visit