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Argent Theatre to perform Brassed Off at Newark Academy

THE hit film Brassed Off is being brought to the stage in Newark this week by Argent Theatre. It opens at Newark Academy on Tuesday and runs until Saturday.

The theatre group is joined on stage by Blidworth Welfare Band, playing as Grimley Colliery Band.

Brassed Off tells the story of a struggling South Yorkshire colliery town, and its band.

Argent Theatre performs Brassed Off. (8330760)
Argent Theatre performs Brassed Off. (8330760)

It details the run-up to the 1994 second round of pit closures, with reference to the 1984 miners’ strike and the primary pit closures.

Union shop steward Jim (Jonty Redgate) is the first to see the writing on the wall, while Harry (John Dodd) still holds out hope that they may still keep pit open ‘at review’.

The play is centred around the Ormondroyd family, headed by Danny (Tony Smith) who is also the conductor of the band. His son, Phil (Matthew Dodd) is in conflict with his exasperated wife, Sandra (Roseann Edis) and they are both feeling the pressure of bringing up a young family while in poverty.

The children are played by Jasmine Dodd, Joseph Smith and Eva Smith while older son Shane is 12-year-old Tyler Dodd. All the children are making their adult stage debuts.

This is a play with drama and laugh out loud humour often provided by the friendship of miner’s wives Vera (Kerri Saxby) and Rita (Janina Sulek). And then the drama is ramped up with the arrival of one Gloria Mullins (Rheanna Trueman) who puts local tenor horn player Andy Barrow (Oscar Hewitt) into a bit of a spin.

Blidworth is a Championship Section, former colliery band who this year, fittingly, marks 30 years since Blidworth Colliery was closed.

Director Chantelle Thornley said: “This is a massive undertaking for us, that without such a supportive cast and crew of ‘miners wives’, ‘miners’, bailiffs, hospital orderlies, stage management and a solid network of friends these sorts of productions are difficult to stage.”

Tickets are £12 and available online from www.ticketsource.co.uk/argenttheatre or by calling 01636 822732.

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