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The Pitmen Painters

The Pitmen Painters
Your Price: $15.95 CDN
Author: Lee Hall
Publisher: Dramatists Play Service
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 78
Pub. Date: 2012
ISBN-10: 0822225077
ISBN-13: 9780822225072
Cast Size: 2 women, 5 women (doubling)

About the Play:

The Pitmen Painters is a full-length drama by Lee Hall, inspired by the book by William Feaver. When a group of British miners hire a professor to teach Art Appreciation, they discover a new way to express themselves and become unexpected stars of the high society art circles of London. Based on a true story, this heartfelt lesson about character over class and talent over privilege challenges the way we look at art and reveals our universal desire for a richer, more colourful existence.

The Pitmen Painters is highly amusing, deeply moving and always entertaining as it examines the lives of a group of ordinary men who do extraordinary things. In 1934, a group of British miners and a dental mechanic hired a professor from Newcastle University to teach an Art Appreciation evening class. Unable to understand each other, they embarked on one of the most unusual experiments in British art as the pitmen learned to become painters. Within a few years the most avant-garde artists became their friends, their work was taken for prestigious collections and they were celebrated throughout the British art world; but every day they still risk their lives down in the mine, as before. An arresting and witty salute to the power of individual expression and the collective spirit, The Pitmen Painters takes you on an unforgettable journey from the depths of the mine to the heights of fame.

The Pitmen Painters premiered in 2007 at Live Theatre in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, transferred to the National Theatre in London, received huge critical acclaim and won the Evening Standard award for Best New Play. A Broadway production opened in 2010 at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre featuring the original UK cast. It opened in London's West End in 2011 at the Duchess Theatre. The Canadian premiere was in 2012 at Theatre Aquarius in Hamilton, Ontario. The play is regularly performed in regional repertory, college, and community theatre productions.

Cast: 2 women, 5 women (doubling)

What people say:

"…a feel-good — make that a feel-great — hit… inspirational … heartbreakingly funny … the art discussions between the technically naive painters and their tutor are so intellectually engaging and such rollicking good fun. Who should make art? What makes art? What does art make of its maker? Who owns art? And how much should art cost, anyway? The conversation that comes out when these guys sit down and try to figure it all out is an art in itself." — Variety

"…heartfelt, moving and deeply politicized … endlessly fascinating to anyone with an interest in the role of the arts in education, or the intersection between folk art and establishment art…created with love." — Chicago Tribune

"Written partly in response to cuts in arts endowments and education, [the play] belongs to a fine old British tradition of establishment-challenging theater. And there's no denying that Mr. Hall makes a valiant case for art as a fruitful stimulant to sleepy minds … excitingly ambiguous, in-the-moment theater, as rich and intriguing as Art (as we are told here) is meant to be." — New York Times

About the Playwright:

Lee Hall is an English playwright and screenwriter who studied English Literature at Cambridge University. He has worked as a writer in theatre, TV, radio, and film. He is best known for his screenplay for Billy Elliot, which was nominated for an Oscar and was adapted into a multi-award winning stage musical.