Originally produced by Newcastle’s acclaimed Live Theatre, and following sell-out seasons at the National Theatre and on Broadway, Bill Kenwright presents the award-winning play The Pitmen Painters, which embarks on a National tour this spring prior to opening in the West End.

Written by Lee Hall, creator of the worldwide sensation Billy Elliot and directed by Max Roberts, The Pitman Painters has received huge critical acclaim and won the Evening Standard award for Best New Play.

In 1934, a group of Ashington miners hired a professor to teach an art appreciation evening class. Rapidly abandoning theory in favour of practice, the pitmen began to paint. Within a few years the most avant-garde artists became their friends and their work was acquired by prestigious collections; but every day they worked, as before, down the mine. Examining the lives of a group of ordinary men that do extraordinary things, The Pitman Painter is a humorous, deeply moving and timely look at art, class and politics.

Lee Hall wrote the screenplay for Billy Elliot and adapted it for the West End in 2005, winning an Olivier Award for Best New Musical. Billy Elliot opened on Broadway in November 2008. His plays also include Spoonface Steinberg, Cooking with Elvis, and an adaptation of Herman Heijerman’s The Good Hope for the NT.

The cast features many of the original actors who starred in the original National Theatre and Broadway productions; Christopher Connel, Deka Walmsley, David Whitaker, Brian Lonsdale and Trevor Fox are joined by new cast members David Leonard, Caroline Faber and Viktoria Kay.

The Pitmen Painters arrives at the Civic Theatre, Darlington 18 to 23 July 2011. For more information click here