REVIEW: Brassed Off at the Orchard Theatre

PUBLISHED: 16:57 02 April 2014 | UPDATED: 11:07 03 April 2014

The women of Grimley

The women of Grimley

©Nobby Clark

Last night saw the opening night of Brassed Off at the Orchard Theatre and the show hit all the right notes.

Sign on the picket lineSign on the picket line

Brassed Off tells the story of fictional Grimley colliery which faces the threat of closure and an unceratin future for its brass band.

With miners torn between redundancy packages and picket lines, band leader Danny hopes to find redemption and solace in the band winning the national Brass Band competition.

Set to this backdrop is an interplay of human relationships put under the strain of such uncertainty.

The marriage of lead couple Sandra (Rebecca Clay) and Phil (Andrew Dunn) steadily falls apart as their financial and famiy problems pile up and the looming presence of pit closure paints a bleak picture for the future of all in the town.

There is much to like about this production of Brassed Off, the tale of human suffering caused by pit closures in the 1980s is heartfelt and determined. It would difficult not to get drawn into the emotional turmoil being played out before you and that is a testament to the cast.

The play is peppered with wry Yorkshire humour, providing a balance to the depressing future faced by many of the characters, and this is executed superbly well particularly by geordie Andrew Dunn in the lead role of Phil.

At times the production did feel a little busy and slightly rushed on stage and perhaps the Yorkshire accents are a little exaggerated but on the whole this is a superb play.

The production eloquently illustrates how the Thatcher government’s policies viciously hacked away at the fabric of life for coal miners and their families in the north of England whilst providing hope through the love and laughter of the people affected.

Brassed Off runs until April 5 at the Orchard Theatre, Home Gardens, Dartford, DA1 1ED. Tickets for the show cost between £15-£35. To book, call 01322 22 0000

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