Written by Lee Hall (who also wrote Billy Elliot), The Pitmen Painters was first performed in Newcastle in 2007. Almost instantly it was snapped up by the National Theatre, achieving sell out audiences in London, touring the UK and also transferring to Broadway. It is currently listed as a set text in the comedy section for Edexcel English Literature at A and AS Level. It is most definitely a great play to watch, study and perform!
The Pitmen Painters is a true story. The action takes place between 1934 & 1947. A group of miners from Ashington, Northumberland, attend evening classes after work. Ideally they had wanted to learn about economics but the only teacher available turns out to be an art historian who isn’t even a professor!
The miners are cynical and the teacher struggles to find a way to engage his audience. Until, that is, the teacher sets them homework…”Do it yourselves…..Paint.”