Preview: On Behalf of the People at People’s History Museum

Set in a post-war Yorkshire mining town, On Behalf of the People 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, 1953.

By Steven Pankhurst | 31 May 2018

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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?

The story of a post-war mining family coming to terms with their rapidly changing world – On Behalf of the People embarks on its first major tour – playing 28 venues across Yorkshire, Derbyshire and Greater Manchester.

The play is the second full-scale production by Yorkshire theatre company The Melting Shop: co-founded by playwright and performer Ray Castleton, and producer and actor David Chafer.

Written by Ray Castleton, this powerful play reveals the struggle that affected millions from mining communities in the face of enormous political and social change, in a family drama filled with warmth, humour and realism.

Last year it premiered to great acclaim at the National Coal Mining Museum and a short and highly successful run of community venues across Yorkshire and Derbyshire followed.  The production now embarks on its first major tour, including performances at the People’s History Museum, the International Anthony Burgess Foundation and the Waterside Arts Centre in Sale.

People’s History Museum
Sunday 1st July, 2pm

International Anthony Burgess Foundation
Tuesday 3rd & Wednesday 4th July, 7pm

Waterside Arts Centre
Tuesday 10th July, 7.30pm

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The Melting Shop’s powerful new play sheds light on how communities were affected by the end of the war, coal nationalisation and the huge period of social change which impacted on their lives, love, hopes and dreams.

The cast features many Sheffield-based actors including Ray Ashcroft, best known for his long-running TV role in The Bill; Kate Wood, a well-known theatre performer with credits including a national tour of The Full Monty and Brassed Off at Derby Playhouse.

Playwright Ray Castleton says: “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. 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.”