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The Pitmen Painters
05 February 2016 - 27 February 2016
An Oldham Coliseum Production: The Pitmen Painters.
Based on a true story, The Pitmen Painters is a funny, feel-good, moving tale of a group of ordinary men who achieved extraordinary things.
The Ashington Group were Northumberland miners who, in 1934 employed Robert Lyon, Master of Painting at Kings College Newcastle, to teach an evening class in Art Appreciation. Lectures on the Old Masters from a posh academic were lost on the pitmen and so instead Lyon taught them to paint, with amazing results.
The Pitmen Painters is a story of the hopes, dreams, determination and the camaraderie of these miners who continued to work down the pit, day in and day out until they retired. Celebrated throughout the art world, this is a tale about friends, who accidentally became a working class phenomenon, having the time of their lives.
Lee Hall is best known as the writer of Billy Elliot - both the hit film and the highly acclaimed musical which continues to run in the West End. The Pitmen Painters was a sell at the Live Theatre, Newcastle, where it originated in 2007, before embarking on a run at The National Theatre, UK tours and a transfer to Broadway.
The Ashington Group paintings can be seen at Woodhorn Museum near Ashington, Northumberland.