The-Dominion-Post-Season-of-The-Pitmen-Painters_show_embed_largeThe Pitmen Painters – Lee Hall
Circa Theatre, until 8 November
Reviewed by Jim Gluck

The Ashington Group were pitmen – miners in the United Kingdom who surprised the art world by creating celebrated and striking pieces of artwork, and Lee Hall’s piece traverses their story from the mid 30s to just after the second world war and the start of industrialization. The play manages to move through questions of class and art seamlessly; the story makes no pretense that the questions of class, oppression and human misery are different from the questions of art and spirituality. It covers a time where miners worked 10 hour days, on their bellies deep underground, where crippling injury and pain were a common occurrence, a world seemingly far removed  from the glamour of art, and yet the play never breaks from that reality; the Group may be in the Tate gallery, but they are still pitmen and follow the same journey as they began. Art, for the group is not only a way of expressing themselves, nor is it a way for them to ‘escape’ the working class, but it is a common journey that they share. [Read More...]

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