Herman's Brassed Off Embarks on Tour, 1 AprDate: 22 February 1999
The stage production of Mark Herman's Brassed Off, which received its world premiere at Sheffield's Crucible Theatre last year, kicks off a national tour this spring. The touring production opens back in Sheffield, this time at the Lyceum Theatre, on 1 April before touring to a dozen other English cities over two months.
When Brassed Off opened at the Crucible, it became the most successful drama ever staged at the venue, smashing box office records and playing to more than 24,000 people during its three-week run. It later transferred to London for a limited run of 17 performances only at the RNT's Olivier Theatre.
Brassed Off is a rousing comedy-drama set in 1994, a time of uncertainty for the miners of Grimley Colliery in South Yorkshire. Their pit is under threat of closure and the colliery band is on the verge of breaking up, their chance of competing nationally a distant dream. Then along comes Gloria, rekindling enthusiasm, passion and romance. Based on a true story, the film - starring Pete Postlethwaite, Ewan McGregor, Stephen Tomkinson and Tara Fitzgerald - received international acclaim when it was released in 1996.
Four of the original cast members will return for the 1999 stage production: Rita May as 'Rita', Shaaron Jackson as 'Vera', Stephen Bent as 'Jim' and Bill Rogers as 'Harry'. Casting details for the five remaining roles have yet to be confirmed. A live brass band will join the cast on stage every night during the tour.
Brassed Off is adapted for the stage by Paul Allen and directed by Deborah Paige, artistic director of the Crucible Theatre. Design is by Roger Glossop, lighting by Richard Owen and music supervision by Duncan Beckley.
The touring production is co-produced by the Touring Partnership and Sheffield Theatres and sponsored by Barclay Stage Partners, a funding scheme from Barclays and the Arts Council of England. The tour will run to 11 July 1999 and will visit Sheffield, Cardiff, Norwich, Cambridge, Plymouth, Nottingham, Wolverhampton, Newcastle, Leicester, Woking, Manchester, Richmond and Wycombe.