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Derbyshire dates for play about post-war mining family

Ray Ashcroft stars as George in On Behalf of the People.
Ray Ashcroft stars as George in On Behalf of the People.

On Behalf of the People is the story of a post-war mining family coming to terms with their rapidly changing world.

The play, written by Ray Castleton, is setting out on its first major tour next month, launching in Chesterfield followed by a string of dates in Derbyshire.

Ray said: “On Behalf of the People is based on extensive research about the people who lived in mining communities just after the war and how the aftermath of the war and the massive change – the election of the post war Labour government, nationalisation, the new health service and the development of social housing – impacted on their lives.”

Set in a Yorkshire mining town, this family drama follows George Mason, his wife Connie, their son - returning solider Tom - and Tom’s fiancée Liz; from the immediate aftermath of the war to coronation year in 1953. Tom Mason returns from the war to the arms of his grateful mother and fiancée – and to the bosom of the pit. George fights his own battles and an election. Connie mourns, loves and unites as Liz sees a new world brim-full of opportunity. In a new Britain, will their hopes and dreams be reconciled?

Ray added: “I was keen to write a story about real people and how their lives and relationships changed; the audience reaction we received last year confirms that this story touches people with its authenticity and honesty.”

The play stars Sheffield-based actors Ray Ashcroft (George Mason) best known for his long-running TV role in The Bill and Kate Wood (Connie) a well-known theatre performer with credits including a national tour of The Full Monty and Brassed Off at Derby Playhouse. Tom is played by Rotherham actor Danny Mellor whose work includes Undermined, his one-man play about the miners’ strike, and Blister in association with Paines Plough. Doncaster’s Lizzie Frain plays Liz, her credits include Mike Leigh’s forthcoming film Peterloo.

On Behalf of the People will be performed at Chesterfield College on May 25, Derby Theatre on May 27, Matlock’s Imperial Rooms on June 7, Hathersage Memorial Hall on June 27, Wirksworth Town Hall on June 29, Bolsover Assembly Rooms on July 6, Buxton’s Bath Road Church Centre from July 7 to 9 and Creswell Social Centre on July 12.

The show is directed by Charlie Kember for The Melting Shop whose ticket hotline is 07903 684676.