Northern Stage and Live Theatre in Newcastle Upon Tyne are reviving Alan Plater’s play Close to the Colahouse Door with Samuel West on directing duties and they're bringing it to the Lowry.

This musical play is based on the stories of Sid Chaplin with songs by Alex Glasgow, which was written and first performed in Newcastle in 1968, charting all the major strikes, victories and disappointments in British mining history from the formation of the first unions in 1831. The story is structured around joyful and poignant music by Alex Glasgow, inspired by north eastern folk songs of each period, performed by highly-skilled actor-musicians. 

The piece has been cast and includesAdam Barlow (Coronation Street, The Red Zone), Chris Connel (The Pitmen Painters, Live Theatre, RNT & Broadway, Cooking with Elvis, Live Theatre), Louisa Farrant (The Glass Slipper, Northern Stage).  Jane Holman (Looking for Buddy, Bolton, film of Billy Elliot), and Nicholas Lumley.
 
Alan Plater CBE, who died last year, was one of the greatest writers of the golden age of British television drama.  As well as 18 episodes of Z-Cars, he wrote Fortunes of War, The Beiderbecke Affair, The Last of the Blonde Bombshells and A Very British Coup (Channel 4).  He founded the Spring Street Theatre in Hull, home to Hull Truck; and alongside Close the Coalhouse Door, his work for the stage includes The Forsythe Saga and Sweet William, as well as Tales From The Backyard, Charlie’s Trousers and In Blackberry Time, also based on stories by Sid Chaplin, all directed by Max Roberts, Artistic Director of Live Theatre.

Writer Lee Hall, (best-known for his global smash hit musical Billy Elliot) has been commissioned to revisit the piece with a new ending to bring it up to date, especially as the play was written before the critical 1984 – 5 miners’ strike.

Close to the Coalhouse Door is at the Lowry from 15 - 19 May.