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New Vic Theatre - Queens of the Coal Age


6 December 2018 Theatre



QUEENS OF THE COAL AGE – by Maxine Peake

‘Queens of the Coal Age’, written by Maxine Peake and based on true events, shows the effect of pit closures from the women’s point of view. It is a story of four women who refused to give up, and who occupied Parkside Colliery over Easter in 1993 in protest at pit closures, showing how normal everyday people can make a difference!

It is a very entertaining story – emotional, powerful and very, very funny. Brace yourself for some tough subjects and strong language!

The play is set 2000 feet below ground, where four friends, including Ann, the wife of Arthur Scargill, show solidarity and courage, protesting against the demise of the livelihood of local working class people.  They are four very different characters, each one superbly acted, who have come together with one aim.  The dialogue between these women is mainly ‘witty banter’ with some poignant, touching moments.

The set is very simple but striking, with a black ‘coal’ floor, orange overalls and miners helmets, with the lamps providing the subdued lighting.  In one striking scene, as the women sleep, the souls of lost miners walk through with their dimly lit lamps. Very touching in a mining area like ours where so many families have lost loved ones in local disasters.

With the centenary of the Minnie Pit Mining Disaster and the vast local mining history in our area, this play is a must!  See it from the women’s perspective!  Plus, there is plenty of great northern humour!  It is on until 29th September and well worth seeing!

Photographs –  Andrew Billington


Kate Anthony           Anne

John Elkington         Des, Ramsey and James

Conor Glean             Michael

Jane Hazlegrove     Dot

Danielle Henry         Lesley

Lucy Tuck                  Elaine


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