The Pitman Painters (National Theatre, 11th September 2009)

I was thankful that on this visit to the National Theatre, I saw the whole play.  As it was the night after seeing half of Mother Courage and Her Children, that experience was still fresh in my mind.  It was certainly worth the visit as well.  The play was humorous and extremely well acted.  I didn’t feel the politics were rammed down my throat.  I have taught for the WEA (Workers Educational Association) and have really fond memories of working for the organisation.  I found watching a play about the organisation’s impact was extremely gratifying.  I am aware personally how life changing the WEA can be. 

The set worked really well for me.  I liked the way that when the actors discussed the paintings and faced the audience with the paintings behind them so that I could see their reactions.  The characterisation worked well as well, giving a feel for the different personalities which would have been in the original WEA class.  I felt that I had been entertained at the theatre, but that I had also learnt a lot about the subject of the Ashington Group and the work that they produced.   The production is about to go on tour, and is very well worth a visit.

Production Information

Details on the National Theatre Site

Further Discussion

The Pitman Painters article in The Guardian
In praise of Pitman Painters in The Guardian
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