Review: John Godber’s play Shafted! is a triumph

John Godber and Jane Thornton in Shafted Photo by Amy Charles Media.
John Godber and Jane Thornton in Shafted Photo by Amy Charles Media.
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John Godber, the people’s playwright, commanded the stage as he waded through an emotional minefield.

His uncompromising play Shafted! dealt with the fallout of the miners’ strike 30 years on.

Cheers from viewers at Chesterfield’s Pomegranate Theatre last night showed that John still has the Midas touch when it comes to writing plays that matter, plays that touch hearts.

John was cast as a miner who lost his job and descended into a drug and drink spiral. His wife, Jane Thornton, portrayed the fighting spirit of so many miners’ spouses who rescued their partners from the brink.

The dark themes were balanced by comedy as the couple eventually found short-lived happiness running a seaside hotel.

Leaving the pit community for a new life was likened to the unpredictablity of a picket. The final roar of ‘We’ll take you on,’ brought the play full circle from the opening chant of ‘The miners united will never be defeated’.

Shafted!, which contains strong language, will be back on the Pomegranate stage tonight (Wednesday, February 10) at 7.30pm.

* Are you a former miner who has seen the play? What were your views? Do you have a story te tell? Email gay.bolton@jpress.co.uk