This summer the New Vic Theatre stages the world-first in-the-round production of classic comedy-drama Brassed Off, the powerful story about community spirit in a Yorkshire mining town.
Director Conrad Nelson, whose Much Ado About Nothing – a co-production between New Vic and Northern Broadsides – is currently on tour across the country, returns to the New Vic to direct this new production of Paul Allen’s adaptation of Mark Herman’s lauded screenplay. Featuring rousing music performed live on stage by Crewe’s TCTC Group Champion Brass Band, the productions is on stage from Saturday 1 to Saturday 22 June.
A heart-warming story of triumph in the face of adversity, Brassed Off follows the troubles of a 1994 Yorkshire mining community whose pit is on the brink of closure. With only the colliery brass band keeping spirits up, sights are set firmly on reaching the national brass band championships at the Royal Albert Hall. With conversations turning to talk of picket lines and redundancy packages, the miners are falling out of tune when Flugelhorn-playing Gloria brings hope to the band and the town.
Nelson brings together a talented cast of nine actor-musicians for the production. Martin Barrass (And Did Those Feet, Octagon Theatre Bolton; The Hypocrite, RSC) plays Danny; Howard Chadwick (Hard Times, Northern Broadsides; By Jeeves, Old Laundry Theatre) plays Harry; Andy Cresswell (One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, Torch; The Cherry Orchard, Young Vic) plays Jim; Clara Darcy (Hollyoaks, Channel4; Priscilla, Queen Of The Desert, Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch) plays Gloria; Susie Emmett (Anna of the Five Towns, New Vic Theatre; Abigail’s Party; Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch/Derby Theatre/Salisbury Playhouse) plays Sandra; William Fox (Suicide Kelly, Idle Work Factory film; Peterloo, Mike Leigh film) plays Phil; Natasha Lewis (Miss Littlewood, RSC; Peter Pan In Scarlet, New Vic Theatre/Oxford Playhouse) plays Vera; Nicolas Shaw (Wonderland, Nottingham Playhouse/Northern Stage; Nell Gwynn, Shakespeare’s Globe) plays Andy; and Helen Sheals (Judy and Liza, Liverpool Royal Court and tour; Through The Mill, Southwark Playhouse) plays Rita. The company are joined by members of the New Vic’s Community Theatre Company, drawn from the local Staffordshire area.
Mark Herman’s smash-hit BAFTA-nominated film captured the hearts of the nation upon its release in 1996, with Ewan McGregor, Pete Postlethwaite and Tara Fitzgerald in starring roles. Critically-acclaimed for its role in telling the story of the decline of the coal industry and promoting brass bands and their music, Brassed Off was adapted for the stage by Paul Allen in 1998.
Tickets for Brassed Off are on sale now from the New Vic Theatre.