*Warning* contains East Midlands vernacular. If yer don’t like it, then Bogger off!
Nah then, yo Boggers know just how likkle I manage ter write on this blog. It’s supposed ter be a platform, fer letting yer know warrav bin upter, keepin y’upter date, like. Burra rarely gerra chance, an’ when a do; it’s usually ter moan abaht summat.
Well, I went dahn Playaahse on Toosdeh, an’ saw ‘Wonderland.’ Yer know, the play abaht the pit moggys. Just so ‘appened, tharrit wuz ‘press’ night, so I thought ad try me ‘and at writin’ a likkle review. Well bogger me, it were bleddeh briwyunt. A felt compelled ter write summat abaht it, if onleh ter encourage the rest on yer ter get dahn there an’ check it aht!
The Nottingham-born (playwright), Beth Steel, draws upon her father’s 40 year experience a miner. The play is set during the 1984-85 miner’s strike, at Welbeck Colliery.
The play starts with a well choreographed piece of dance, set to music. At first, I wasn’t sure if it was going to end up being a musical, whereby they’d suddenly break out into song at the mere mention of ‘snap tins’ or ‘cobs’. This was not the case, and, as much as I like musical theatre, I was quite glad about it. There are enough industrial hardship stories, that have been set to music (Brassed off, The Full Monty…) and I don’t think this story, nor the script would’ve benefitted from it. It was so much better than that, and would’ve distracted too much from the message that was being portrayed. This is, of course the Midlands, and we don’t like to be too over the top!
The casting was great, and considering Nottinghamese is one of the hardest accents to adopt, I thought they were all very convincing. (I mean, what do I know, am norreven frum raahnd ‘ere, me-sen!) There were certain characters that shone out over others, but, as us Midlanders don’t like to blow our own trumpets, am not gooin ter single any Bogger aht! The wonderful direction (Adam Penford), bleddeh clever set design, (Morgan Large) and perfect lighting (Jack Knowles) make the whole play gel together really nicely, and there is a real raw juxtaposition between the bleak, real-life hardships that these men faced, and pure lighthearted brilliance in the script writing. (Some absolutely cracking one-liners annorl!)
Although I have no connection to the mining industry, and, fortunately I was too young to remember the ruling of the Iron lady, this play really struck a chord with me. The heartbreak, devastation and destruction of these men’s lives, and their families, must have been harrowing. The sense of pride that these men show, in the face of adversity, is portrayed so well throughout the performance. The need to fight for what you believe in, or return to work, and face being called a ‘scab’.
Anyroad, I don’t think I’ll be winning any nobel prize fer literature, as a result of this review, but I hope it’s given you the impetus to get yersen to the Playhouse, and see this masterpiece before it closes on the 24th Feb. Get yer tickets here
Right, signing off nah, until I can get me-sen organised enough ter write some more rammel.