- Date: 25 January 2010
- Area: North
The Pitmen Painters.
Live Theatre, funded by Arts Council England, North East, announced last week that the award-winning show The Pitmen Painters will transfer to Broadway, New York in September 2010.
Lynne Meadow (Artistic Director) and Barry Grove (Executive Producer) announced that Manhattan Theatre Club, by special arrangement with Bob Boyett, will produce the Live Theatre, Newcastle and National Theatre of Great Britain's co-production of The Pitmen Painters by Tony Award winner Lee Hall (Billy Elliot) with direction by Max Roberts starring the original English company.
The cast, who have been with the production since it premiered at Live Theatre in 2007, will include: Christopher Connel, Michael Hodgson, Ian Kelly, Brian Lonsdale, Lisa McGrillis, Deka Walmsley, David Whitaker and Phillippa Wilson.
Inspired by a book by William Feaver, and hailed by London critics as 'a glorious instant classic' (Evening Standard), 'a wonderful piece of theatre' (Financial Times) 'a beautiful work of art that everybody should see' (The Times of London), and 'a superb piece of work; warm, funny, sad, and thought-provoking' (The Daily Telegraph), the play tells the story of the Ashington Group - miners from Northumberland who became celebrated painters. The Pitmen Painters was named Best Play at the 2008 Evening Standard Awards.
The Pitmen Painters is a humorous, deeply moving and timely look at art, class, and politics. In 1934, a group of Ashington miners hired a professor to teach an art appreciation evening class. Rapidly abandoning theory in favor 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.
The Pitmen Painters will open September 2010 at MTC's Samuel J. Friedman Theatre (261 West 47th Street).