Preview: Shafted! at Durham’s Gala Theatre
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John Godber brings legacy of the
miners’ strikes to Gala
Durham Gala Theatre
Monday 15th and Tuesday 16th February 2016
Miners will take centre stage as BAFTA Award-winning playwright John Godber brings his latest play to Durham’s Gala Theatre.
Shafted! follows the lives of former pitman Harry and his wife Dot – played by Godber and his wife Jane Thornton - in the thirty years after the strikes of 1984, as the pair struggle to settle into new jobs and to rebuild their community.
Suddenly they were thrown together, with new battles to fight and new jobs to hold down; from window cleaning in Wakefield to running a boarding house in Bridlington; but life would never be the same again.
Fuelled with eye-watering honesty and true Yorkshire grit, this is a hilarious account of those whose jobs had been taken and whose communities had been destroyed, and how they fought back after being Shafted!
The pits may have gone but the shifts are still seismic!
The John Godber Company was formed in March 2011 by celebrated playwright John Godber and his wife Jane Thornton, following John’s departure from Hull Truck Theatre after 26 years as its artistic director.
John Godber was born the son of a miner in Upton, West Yorkshire. He trained as a teacher of drama at Bretton Hall College, Wakefield. Whilst he was head of drama at Minsthorpe High School, the school he attended as a student, he won every major award at the National Student Drama Festival between 1981 and 1983.
His plays include: Bouncers, Up ’n’ Under, April in Paris, Teechers, Poles Apart, Blood, Sweat and Tears, Cramp, Happy Jack, September in the Rain, Salt of the Earth, Passion Killers, Happy Families, Up ’n’ Under ll, Gym and Tonic, Dracula, Lucky Sods, Hooray for Hollywood, Weekend Breaks, It Started With a Kiss, Unleashed, Thick As a Brick, Big Trouble in the Little Bedroom, Seasons in the Sun, On a Night Like This, Our House, Departures, Men of the World, Reunion, Screaming Blue Murder, Black Ties and Tales, Perfect Pitch, Going Dutch, Christmas Crackers and Crown Prince.
Within an extensive career in writing and directing in TV and film, John devised the BBC Two series Chalkface, wrote and directed The Ritz and also worked with Anthony Minghella on Grange Hill and Phil Redmond on Brookside; his screenplay 8 My Kingdom for a Horse, starring Sean Bean, was nominated for an Alternative BAFTA. John’s first feature film, Up ’n’ Under, was released in January 1998.
In 2005 he co-wrote and directed Odd Squad for BBC Two, which was shot in Hull using local actors. Odd Squad won two BAFTAs in the Schools Drama category and in the BAFTA Original Writer section.
Jane Thornton’s stage writing credits include Say It With Flowers (Hull Truck Theatre), All the Fun of the Fight (Theatre Royal Wakefield), I Want That Hair and Wuthering Heights (Hull Truck Theatre).
For television, she co-wrote the BAFTA-winning Odd Squad (BBC), Bloomin’ Marvellous, Shakers, Chalk face (BBC) and It’s Happy Hour Again (Channel 4).
As an actor, Jane appeared in the original theatre productions of Up ‘n’ Under, Happy Jack, September in the Rain and April in Paris and for TV, Coronation Street, Heartbeat, Hollyoaks and the screen plays of Up ‘n’ Under, My Kingdom for a Horse where she played opposite Sean Bean, and Thunder Road.
For more information about the show, which will be performed at 7.30pm each night, or to book tickets - priced £15 or £13 for concessions - call the Gala box office on 03000 266 600, visit the venue in person or book online at www.galadurham.co.uk.