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Show poster


Ended 14 Apr 2012 after 6 months

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The most deeply satisfying, enthralling and life (and art) affirming evening in town.

Mark Shenton, The Stage

Closed 14 Apr 2012


The Pitmen Painters is an immensely amusing and profound reconnaissance into the human need for art, creative expression and personal growth. With delightfully vivid characters and subtle, comic class commentary, Lee Hall's sincere and compelling play, based on real life events, is an adaptation of a book by William Feaver, an art critic who documented the Ashington painters' lives.

Writer Lee Hall is best known for his work with Billy Elliot which was both a 2000 movie and a highly acclaimed musical which continues to run successfully in the West End.


In 1934 a group of miners from Ashington, Northumbria, determined to grow creatively, hired a professor to teach them art appreciation in the evenings. A new and invigorating world is opened to the miners, who discover not only access to an elitist domain but the liberation of self-expression. The group soon opts for practice rather than theory and eagerly begins to paint. Gradually the miners gain friends and recognition in avante garde art circles. As the years pass, the Ashington painters' work is held in high esteem, some of it sought out by famed and affluent collectors to form part of prestigious collections. But the push-pull of their two vastly different lives - one of High Art, the other of working class physical labour - ultimately drives decisions.

Additional Information


Opening night: 5 October 2011

Closing night: 14 April 2012


Pitmen Painters is suitable for audiences aged eight and upwards

Run time

Two hours and 40 minutes with one 15 minute intermission

Show times


The Pitmen Painters Shop

What You Say

1 reviews, average rating: (5.0 Stars)

Heather Wing: “Moving, Enlightening And Inspiring”

I saw The Pitmen Painters last night and was intensely moved by the play. ... more

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