The Pitman Painters

  • Theatre
  • Drama
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'Billy Elliot' writer Lee Hall had another, quite different, hit on his hands with 'The Pitman Painters', his play about a group of miners in Ashington who hire a professor to teach them how to appreciate art. After a sell-out run at the National Theatre then extensive runs on Broadway and the West End, it's now touring the UK.

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Kate B

I am always amazed that one can have such differing views on the quality of a production. The audience might have whistled and cheered as the curtain came down last night, but I was left feeling distinctly underwhelmed. It wasn't the subject matter, for the play examined the lives of a group of miners whose artistic talents broke barriers in the art world. So what was it? Truthfully, I found some of the acting two-dimensional and ever so slightly offensive. Did every wealthy person speak like Margo from the Good Life in 1945? Did all miners have external ticks, mental health issues and a poor vocabulary? I think not. But it was deeper than this. The story didn't move. It didn't progress. And with the exception of one character, nothing was ever at stake. Yes, there were some witty moments in the script, but amusing dialogue is not enough. At least, it isn't enough for me. And perhaps some of you will agree.